Panthers survive comeback bid at Bluffton

Hanover College’s baseball squad held off Bluffton University (Ohio), 7-5, to cap the regular season. The Panthers’ season-finale was played Saturday, May 5, in Bluffton, Ohio.

Hanover led 7-2 heading into the bottom of ninth inning. Bluffton scored three runs to pull within 7-5 and had the tying run at the plate when the Panthers secured the final out.

Hanover’s offense piled up 14 hits, marking the 25th time this season the team tallied double-digit hits in a contest.

Junior outfielders Cam Ginder (Huntertown, Ind.) and Kevin Sears (Noblesville, Ind.) had three hits apiece to lead the charge. Junior third baseman Trent McIninch (Greenwood, Ind.) and sophomore outfielder Kolton Chapman (Lynnville, Ind.) each had two hits.

Hanover scored three times in the first inning, led 4-2 after five and added one run in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to stretch the margin to 7-2 going into the ninth.

Sears knocked in a run with a base hit and McIninch added a run-scoring double to spark the Panthers in the first inning.

Chapman singled to lead off the fourth and sixth frames for Hanover (22-17; 12-12 HCAC). He eventually scored on an infield throwing error to give the Panthers a 4-1 lead in the fourth and crossed the plate on Ginder’s single in the sixth to boost the cushion to 5-2.

Sophomore first baseman D.C. Craig (Carrollton, Ky.) doubled in the seventh inning. McIninch followed with his second run-scoring double of the game to drive the squad's lead to 6-2.

Freshman catcher Nolan Hall (Knightstown, Ind.) singled to open the eighth inning and swiped second to move into scoring position. Freshman designated hitter Matt Brooks (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) hit a two-out single to score Hall and increase Hanover's advantage to 7-2.

Bluffton (19-21; 12-13 HCAC) made a charge in the ninth.

With two outs and a runner on base, the Beavers put together two singles and an error to score twice and cut the margin to 7-4.

Junior pitcher Rob Wohlschlaeger (Sheridan, Ind.) entered with runners on second and third and the tying run at the plate. He allowed a run-scoring single before getting an infield pop-up to end the game and record his first career save.

Sophomore Andrew Roby (Shepherdsville, Ky.) earned the victory with five and two-thirds innings of work on the mound. Roby (3-5) gave up five hits and two runs. He had three strikeouts and issued four walks.

Freshman Clint Jones (Bloomington, Ind.) tossed two innings, allowing five hits and three runs before giving way to Wohlschlaeger with two outs in the ninth.

Hanover at Bluffton (Ohio) statistics