Defiance, Ohio – Using two big innings, the Defiance College Yellow Jackets took two games from the Transylvania baseball team on Saturday in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader at Craig Rutter Field.
The Yellow Jackets erased a 2-0 deficit in the bottom of the eighth inning of game one with a six-run outburst to grab a 6-2 victory. In game two, Defiance pulled ahead of the Pioneers with a five-run third inning on the way to a 10-6 win to sweep the twin bill.
Defiance improved to 12-6-1 overall and 3-1 in conference play while the Pioneers fell to 12-14 overall and 5-3 in HCAC play.
Jake Schmidt got the start in game one for the Pioneers and marched to his longest and finest outing of the season in seven starts, pitching a season-best 6.2 innings and notching a season-high seven strikeouts while allowing no runs and just one hit against four walks.
As Schmidt flummoxed Defiance's batting order, the Pioneers put the first run of the day on the board in the top of the fifth inning. Wade Lopiccolo and Trey Medford led off with singles and Isaac Taylor moved each runner over on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Henry Molloy drove in Lopiccolo on a base hit for a 1-0 Transy lead. Molloy made another impact in the seventh inning with a two-out sacrifice fly RBI to score Lopiccolo and push the Pioneers ahead, 2-0.
Schmidt exited the game with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning before the Yellow Jackets pounced on Transylvania's relievers in the bottom of the eighth; the Yellow Jackets placed the first seven runners of the inning aboard to turn around the contest in their favor as they plated six runs on four hits and an error for a 6-2 advantage.
Max Medley took the loss for Transylvania to move to 2-2 on the season. Defiance finished game one with five hits to seven for the Pioneers, but the home team saved four of their five hits for the critical eighth inning.
Lopiccolo led the Pioneers with a 2-for-4 performance in game one. Taylor stole his 16th base of the season to move into a tie with Trey Simpson for third all-time on the career steals list for Transylvania baseball.
In game two, the Pioneers evened up Defiance in the top of the third inning at 1-1 after Lopiccolo drove in Hudson Chastain on an RBI double.
The tie game would be short-lived as Defiance reeled off its second inning of five runs or more for the second time Saturday with a five-run outburst against Transy starter Colton Hartig in the bottom of the inning to take a 6-1 advantage.
Chastain answered again for the Pioneers in the top of the sixth inning with a base hit up the middle to score Molloy and cut Defiance's lead to 6-2. The Jackets countered again in the bottom of the inning, scoring four more runs on a three-run double and an RBI single into centerfield to raise their lead to 10-2.
The Pioneers wouldn't go away as they made another pair of dangerous charges over the next two innings. Transylvania loaded the bases with one out in the top of the seventh before Riley Willbur delivered an RBI single to cut the deficit to 10-3. Defiance held the Pioneers to one run in the inning as the Pioneers stranded three.
Transylvania rose again in the top of the eighth inning as Michael Blair led off the frame with a single and Lopiccolo drew a base on balls. With two aboard, Trey Medford smacked his first career home run, a three-run shot to slice Defiance's lead to 10-6. Defiance escaped the inning by retiring the next three Pioneer batters and maintained the four-run lead through the end.
Hartig earned the loss for the Pioneers with six hits yielded over 2.2 innings. Robert Young led the Pioneers with three strikeouts in a relief role, working innings three through six.
Four different Pioneers had two hits apiece in game two with Medford leading the way with a 2-for-4 day to go with his three RBI as the freshman hit in his 10th straight game.
The Pioneers are next scheduled to play on Tuesday, April 9 with a home contest against the Centre College Colonels. First pitch is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. at Marquard Field as the teams will rematch for the first time since March 12.
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