Combined four-hitter leads to series sweep

Four pitchers combined on a four-hitter and a seven-run outburst in the fourth inning propelled Hanover College’s baseball team to a 9-1 victory at the College of Mount St. Joseph (Ohio). The final game of the three-game Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference series was held Saturday, March 30, in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Senior hurler Kyle Wentzel (Cincinnati, Ohio), making his second start of the season, scattered three hits and gave up one run through five innings on the mound for Hanover (11-8; 4-2 HCAC).

Sophomore reliever Clint Jones (Bloomington, Ind.), classmate Alex Lantz (Indianapolis, Ind.) and junior Chip Hockenbury (Elizabeth, Ind.) followed with four innings of one-hit pitching to nail down the Panthers’ sixth win in the squad’s last eight games.

Hanover’s offense generated 11 hits to mark its 10th game of the season with 10 or more. Senior first baseman Ryan Grau (Cincinnati, Ohio), sophomore catcher Nolan Hall (Knightstown, Ind.) and freshman rightfielder Chris Ares (Versailles, Ky.) had two hits apiece to lead the effort at the plate.

Grau had two doubles and knocked in a pair of runs. Ares scored twice and had two runs-batted-in.

Mount St. Joseph (4-13; 0-5 HCAC) led 1-0 after the first inning before Grau tied the game with a run-scoring double in the top of the second.

The Panthers sent 12 batters to the plate in the seven-run fourth inning. Sophomore shortstop Ryan Johns (Cincinnati, Ohio) spurred the outburst with a two-run double and Ares’ had a two-run single.

Hanover scored nine runs in each of the three games at Mount St. Joseph. The Panthers have averaged 8.6 runs and 13 hits in the team’s last five contests.

Hanover at Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) statistics