By Hugh Kerins
Ohio Wesleyan’s Bishops baseball team started off slow in conference play against DePauw and gained momentum by beating Denison, but then showed lack of experience down the stretch.
On April 6 and 7 the Bishops traveled to Greencastle, Ind., to face conference opponent DePauw for a weekend series.
The Bishops started out strong, taking the first game 8-3.
During the game senior Ben Steele came up with three RBI’s and a home run. Other big contributors were junior Sean Vollenweider, freshmen Steven Moore and Taylor Hutchinson, who each had two hits and an RBI.
After the first game, the tide turned quickly—DePauw beat the Bishops in the next three games 3-9, 3-4 and 8-10, respectively.
In the last two games on April 7, the Bishops made late comebacks, but fell short at the end of both.
“Our team struggles to come out of the gates and jump on teams,” senior James Tolland said. “It is almost as if we need four innings to get warmed up or something, and by then it’s almost too late sometimes.”
Standouts in the two losses were Vollenweider, who collected a total of five hits along with three RBI’s; first baseman Toland collected five hits.
Steele said he thinks the team will improve despite its youth.
“… I believe we are really coming together as a team and fighting back in different games,” he said. “There has also been a great amount of hard work that helps us win games.”
The Bishops continued conference play the following weekend after having their game against Otterbein University canceled due to inclement weather.
With continuing conference play, the team came back from the tournament with a game against Denison at Littick Field. On April 13 the Bishops collected two big victories. The final scores were 11-0 and 5-2.
Vollenweider, Steele, Toland and sophomore J.J. Buckey drove in two runs apiece to power OWU over Denison in the opener of the double-header.
The Bishops broke the game open in the fourth inning, collecting seven hits and adding a pair of walks and a sacrifice fly along the way. Vollenweider’s two-run single capped the eight-run rally.
During the second game, Denison took an early lead, but that would be it for the Big Red—sophomore pitcher Charles Cooper blanked the visitors on one hit over the next six-plus innings of action. The final score of the game was 5-2.
On the following day, April 14, Denison got its revenge with two solid victories against the Bishops, and showed no mercy in either outing. The Big Red beat OWU with final scores of 1-6 and 3-17.
“This is where we show our youth,” said sophomore Paul Priddy. “We are young and we’re still trying to get our legs under us. As a young team we have a lot of potential, and I think are really going to do great things as the year progresses.”
The Bishops continue play on April 17 at Capital University.