Hanover handles Defiance in opener, 8-4

Hanover College’s baseball team racked up 15 hits in an 8-4 victory against Defiance College (Ohio) in the opening contest of a three-game Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference series.

Senior second baseman Zack Shultz (Greenwood, Ind.) collected four hits, while senior rightfielder Kolton Chapman (Lynnville, Ind.), junior designated hitter Ryan Johns (Cincinnati, Ohio) and freshman catcher Austin Holloway (St. Leon, Ind.) had two hits apiece to lead Hanover’s offensive outbreak.

Senior pitcher Andrew Roby (Shepherdsville, Ky.) chalked up his second win of the season with eight and one-third innings of work. Roby (2-4) limited Defiance to just six hits and no earned runs with three strikeouts.

The Panthers, now 9-16 overall and 5-10 in the HCAC, jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and led 8-1 after adding two runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh.

Shultz doubled down the leftfield line to lead off Hanover’s five-hit first inning. He later scored on a base hit by junior first baseman Matt Brooks (Goodlettsville, Tenn.). Johns followed with his second homer of the season, a three-run shot, to give the Panthers the early four-run advantage.

Defiance cut the margin to 4-1 with a run on two hits and an error in the second inning.

Hanover pulled ahead 6-1 in the sixth. Sophomore second baseman John-Clay Curtis (Versailles, Ky.) reached on an infield single to start the frame. He eventually moved to third and scored on a bases-loaded groundout by junior shortstop Matt Newman (Bloomington, Ind.). Brooks added a sacrifice fly to centerfield to push Shultz across the plate.

Chapman walked to open the seventh inning. He would later score on a fly ball to center off the bat of freshman leftfielder Brett Burke (Goodlettsville, Tenn.). Shultz stroked a base hit into left-center field to give the Panthers an 8-1 cushion.

Hanover committed three errors in the game, including two in the Yellow Jackets’ three-run ninth inning.

Sophomore hurler Austen Pitman (Indianapolis, Ind.) recorded the final two outs to seal the win.

Defiance slipped to 8-21 overall and 2-14 in the league with the setback.

Hanover vs. Defiance (Ohio) statistics