Hanover College's baseball team was knocked off twice to open a three-game Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference series at Bluffton University (Ohio). The Panthers were blanked 9-0 in the first game and lost 5-2 in the nightcap.
In the opener, junior shortstop Matt Newman (Bloomington, Ind.) notched his first four-hit game of the season and second in his career. He collected four of Hanover’s six hits, including two doubles.
The Panthers left eight runners on base and were 1-for-12 in the game with runners in scoring position.
Bluffton led 2-0 after four innings, but added three runs in the fifth inning to push the margin to 5-0. The Beavers used two runs in the seventh and two more in the eighth for the final tally.
Senior pitcher Mitch Hunnicutt (Seymour, Ind.) slipped to 2-4 this season after working six and one-third innings. He scattered 10 hits and seven runs (five earned) with six strikeouts.
Junior Alex Lantz (Indianapolis, Ind.) tossed one and two-thirds innings. He allowed two hits and a pair of runs.
Bluffton grabbed a 4-0 lead in the first inning of the second game and held on for a 5-2 win.
Hanover scratched the scoreboard in the second to cut the lead to 4-1. Junior first baseman Matt Brooks (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) led off the frame with a triple and scored on an infield grounder by junior designated hitter Ryan Johns (Cincinnati, Ohio).
Bluffton (10-11; 3-6 HCAC) added a run in the fourth inning to regain the four-run cushion.
The Panthers scored again in the sixth inning. Newman reached on an error and eventually moved to third after a walk and a bunt single. He crossed the plate on another Johns’ infield grounder.
Newman had a two-out double in the seventh, but was left stranded. The Panthers went down in order in the eighth and ninth innings.
Freshman catcher Austin Holloway (St. Leon, Ind.) had two hits for Hanover, which totaled eight hits in the contest.
Senior hurler Andrew Roby (Shepherdsville, Ky.) was pegged with the loss. Roby (1-2) worked the first six innings on the mound. He gave up nine hits and five runs with two walks and six strikeouts.
Sophomore Matt Powers (Floyds Knobs, Ind.) capped the outing with two innings of no-hit relief.
Hanover dipped to 7-12 overall and 3-6 in the Heartland Conference with the losses.
Published Saturday, April 5, 2014