The baseball team played six games in seven days in the sunshine state, finishing with a 3-2-1 record, and a 35-24 run-differential.
The Hornets started off the trip with red hot bats and strong pitching, cruising to a 13-3 victory over Knox College. All of the Hornets’ starters had at least one hit in the game, combining for 12 total for the game. Sophomore Connor Grant led the way with 2 hits and also added a team-high four RBIs. Senior Dylan Pierce held down the fort on the mound, tossing six strong innings, allowing only three runs.
Kalamazoo’s bats were not as alive in the next game, notching only six hits, but three early runs proved enough for the Hornets and sophomore pitcher Ryan Orr. Orr stranded 10 hits over six innings of work, allowing only 2 runs. A pair of sophomores Brandon DeFore and Joe Giacalone, and junior Steve Simmons worked the remaining three scoreless innings to preserve a 3-2 Hornet victory.
After a tie due to weather and two defeats, the Hornets returned to their winning form on the last day of the trip against New Paltz State. They rolled to an 8-2 victory. Juniors Ian Kobernick and Brett Garwood both provided two hits as the team notched 10 total. Eight runs were plenty for first year pitcher Connor Young, who worked seven strong innings, allowing only one run.
The Hornets had a quick turn around after returning home, with two double-headers against Albion to begin the MIAA season. The short rest did not affect the team though, as they rolled to a four game sweep of the Britons (8-1, 8-5, 7-6 in 12 innings, and 8-3).
For his performances against Albion over the weekend and the last two games in Florida, junior third baseman Jack Clark was named MIAA position player of the week. Over the six game span Clark was on fire. He hit for a .471 average with an OBP of .690, while also flashing the leather in the field with no errors for the week.
The Hornet softball team had an even busier schedule in Florida than the men. They played nine games in six days, including four double headers. The team came home with a 2-7 record on the trip.
In the team’s first victory of the season, the Hornets defeated Washington and Jefferson 2-1 behind a strong pitching performance from junior Erin DuRoss. She pitched a complete game, allowing only the one run, one hit, and striking out five to earn the win. Despite DuRoss not having much run support at any point on the mound, the Hornets bats came alive in the bottom of the 7th inning. They got extra base hits from first year Hayleigh Alamo and sophomore Lia Evangelista. Evangelista’s triple gave the Hornets the walk-off win.
The Hornets’ bats were much more awake in the team’s second victory of the trip, collecting 12 hits, and at least one from seven of the nine starters. This time they started early with the scoring, getting out to a 6-0 lead before a Worcester State home run ended the shutout bid. The two runs from the homer would be all the Hornets would allow, cruising in the end to a 9-2 win.
Sophomore shortstop Izzy Kirck said, “Florida was a really good experience for us, we played some really tough competition, and competing with them showed us the potential of our team for this season.”
Much like the baseball team, the softball team has also seen success since returning home, recording 11-3 and 8-1 victories over North Park and Cornerstone respectively.