By Hugh Kerins
During this past week the Battling Bishops baseball team held strong at home, pulling out two victories in non-conference play.
On April 3, the Bishops hosted non-conference opponent Otterbein College.
Otterbein came into the game with a 16-4 record, but that did not faze the Bishops.
While Ohio Wesleyan had only played 11 games, the team still knew it had the tools to win.
“We knew coming into this game it wasn’t going to be easy, especially seeing who all Otterbein had beaten so far this season,” senior Greg Hock said. “But when it came time to play we knew we had the right materials to give them a run for their money.”
Otterbein jumped out to an early 3-0 lead that carried all the way through the eighth inning, but that’s when the Bishops came alive.
In the eighth inning the Bishops tied the game when by junior Sean Vollenweider stole home. Senior first baseman James Toland then broke the tie with a two-run double and lifted Ohio Wesleyan over Otterbein for good.
“Our team was able to come back by not giving up,” Toland said.
“We came together as a team stayed focused, and we played the game as it should be played. We got people on base and got them in.”
“It was a great battle and a great cross town rival win, and I am very excited what is in the future for this team as conference play starts up this weekend.”
Freshman right-hander Daniel Kasian came in as closer and retired the Cardinals in order in the top of the ninth to collect his first collegiate save, ending the game with a final score of 5-3.
With momentum on their side, the Bishops hosted Ohio Northern at Littick Field the following day, April 4, at to continue non-conference play before starting their conference schedule.
“I believe that we are beginning to learn what it takes to win ballgames,” senior Ben Steele said.
“We are a young team, so we are learning from our mistakes while playing hard.”
Unlike their last game, the Bishops didn’t wait until the end to make a dramatic finish—instead they came out of the gates running.
They scored four runs in the first inning and never looked back, increasing their lead up to 10-3 by the end of the fifth inning.
Vollenweider continued doing well, going 3-5 from the plate and driving in three runs to help the Bishops to back-to-back victories.
Other contributors to the 14-5 victory were senior Zach Bott, who went 2-4 from the plate with a double and one run batted in, and freshman Taylor Hutchinson, who collected three hits and had a double and a triple during his at-bats.