Senior rightfielder Kolton Chapman (Lynnville, Ind.) belted a walk-off homer and senior hurler Mitch Hunnicutt (Seymour, Ind.) tossed a complete game to lift Hanover College’s baseball team to a doubleheader and three-game series sweep against Defiance College (Ohio).
Hunnicutt threw a nine-inning six-hitter to help Hanover post a 6-2 win in the opener. Chapman deposited a one-out, two-run homer over the fence in right field in the bottom of the ninth to give the Panthers a 5-3 victory in the second game of the twinbill.
While Hunnicutt held Defiance’s offense in check, Hanover totaled 13 hits and eventually used a four-run eighth inning to pull away for the 6-2 win in the first contest.
Junior shortstop Matt Newman (Bloomington, Ind.) and junior catcher Nolan Hall (Knightstown, Ind.) had three hits apiece to spark the Panthers’ offense. Newman doubled, tripled, scored twice and knocked in a run, while Hall had a double and three runs-batted-in.
Hall pushed a run across the plate with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1-1 in the second inning. Newman doubled and scored on a base hit through the middle by junior first baseman Matt Brooks (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) to knot the score at 2-2 in the fourth inning.
Hanover erupted for four runs on four hits in the bottom of the eighth.
Newman swatted a triple to right field to score senior third baseman Zack Shultz (Greenwood, Ind.) with the eventual winning run. Newman later scored on a passed ball, while Hall added a two-run double in the decisive inning.
Hunnicutt, now 3-5 this season, scattered six hits and gave up just one earned run. He racked up seven strikeouts and did not issue a walk.
Hanover (11-16; 7-10 HCAC) scored three times in the final two innings to rally for the 5-3 triumph in the second game.
Trailing 3-2 in the eighth, senior D.C. Craig (Carrollton, Ky.) hit a pinch-hit single. Sophomore Cameron Walls (Ellettsville, Ind.), who came on as a pinch runner, moved to second on a wild pitch and landed on third after a Shultz grounder ricocheted off the Defiance pitcher for an infield hit.
Sophomore centerfielder Chris Ares (Versailles, Ky.) looped a two-out single into right-center field to deliver Walls with the tying run.
In the bottom of the ninth, junior designated hitter Ryan Johns (Cincinnati, Ohio) earned a one-walk to set the stage for Chapman's heroics. Chapman followed with a towering blast down the right field line for the game-winning hit.
Senior pitcher Chip Hockenbury (Elizabeth, Ind.) recorded the victory with four and one-third innings of scoreless relief. Hockenbury (2-2) allowed only one hit with a walk and four strikeouts.
Chapman, Ares and Shultz equally split six of Hanover’s eighth hits in the contest. Shultz had a double, while Chapman doubled to go along with his fourth career homer and first of the season.
Defiance fell to 8-23 overall and 2-16 in the league with the losses.
Published Saturday, April 19, 2014