Long ball, curve ball lead to fifth in a row

Junior pitcher Mitch Hunnicutt (Seymour, Ind.) scattered five hits through seven innings and the Hanover College baseball squad’s offense generated 18 hits as the Panthers rolled to a 13-7 victory against the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. The first contest of a three-game Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference series was played Friday, April 5, at the L.S. Ayres Athletic Complex.

The victory marks Hanover’s fifth in a row and raises the team’s record to 13-8 overall and 6-2 in the Heartland Conference.

Hunnicutt surrendered just one run while fanning four to improve to 4-1 on the mound this season. He exited after seven innings with the Panthers ahead, 13-3.

Hanover led 2-0 after the first inning. In the top of the third, Rose-Hulman followed an infield error with three runs to bolt ahead, 3-2.

The Panthers, however, countered with a three-run third inning to regain the lead at 5-3.

Senior centerfielder Kevin Sears (Noblesville Ind.) jacked a two-run homer to give Hanover a 4-3 lead and, two batters later, senior first baseman Ryan Grau (Cincinnati, Ohio) punched a single into left field to nudge the cushion to 5-3.

The Panthers blew the game open with an eight-run fourth inning. The squad sent 12 hitters to the plate and collected nine hits in the frame.

Sophomore third baseman Matt Newman (Bloomington, Ind.) smacked a lead-off home run and added a two-run single later in the inning. Sophomore shortstop Ryan Johns (Cincinnati, Ohio) hit two doubles in the stanza, scoring one run while knocking in another.

Rose-Hulman scored four runs in the top of the eighth inning for the final margin.

Sophomore reliever Alex Lantz (Indianapolis, Ind.) worked the eighth for Hanover, allowing just two hits, but four unearned runs.

Senior Rob Wohlschlaeger (Sheridan, Ind.) tossed a one-two-three ninth to extend his scoreless streak to eight straight appearances covering nine innings.

Sears, Johns and sophomore catcher Nolan Hall (Knightstown, Ind.) had three hits apiece to lead Hanover’s attack.

Sears finished 3-for-4 with his first home run of the season, three runs-batted-in and one scored. Johns was 3-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and three runs. Hall was 3-for-4 with three singles, one run-batted-in and one scored.

Grau, Newman and junior leftfielder Kolton Chapman (Lynnville, Ind.) each added two hits.

Rose-Hulman slipped to 7-13 overall and 4-3 in the Heartland Conference with the setback.

Hanover vs. Rose-Hulman statistics