Baseball Team Gains Sunday Split With Bearcats

Junior Alex Walts had 3 hits in Hillsdale's Sunday win over McKendree. Photo courtesy of Katie Monastiere
Junior Alex Walts had 3 hits in Hillsdale's Sunday win over McKendree. Photo courtesy of Katie Monastiere

Game 1 box score: McKendree 7, Hillsdale 4

Game 2 box score: Hillsdale 8, McKendree 7

The Charger baseball team came away from its weekend series at McKendree University with a split among the four games played Saturday and Sunday.

Hillsdale won the second game in both doubleheaders. Sunday, Hillsdale lost in the opener 7-4 before rallying, then hanging on for, an 8-7 victory in the nightcap.

The Chargers are 3-8 on the season.

In Sunday's first game, McKendree held leads of 3-0 and 4-2 before the Charger beats heated up. Sophomore Steven Ring, who had a monster weekend, doubled to right field one batter before freshman Jake Rhodes hit his first career home run, a two-run shot, that put the Chargers on top 5-4.

But the Bearcats answered with one in the fifth and two in the sixth, while shutting the Chargers down over the final two innings to clinch the win.

Hillsdale was held hitless through four innings of the second game when once again, the offense, en masse, caught fire. Sophomore Colin Boerst got it going with a two-run single in the fifth inning.

In the sixth inning, Ring homered for the fourth time this weekend, a solo shot. Later, Mike Mitchell had the first of two clutch hits, when his infield single scored Rhodes to tie the game at 5.

In the top of the eighth, Mitchell sliced a double down the right field line, scoring Ryan O'Hearn and Brendan Oossee to break the tie. Mitchell later scored on a sac fly by Boerst.

Offensively, Boerst was 2-for-4 with 3 RBI for Hillsdale in its win, while Mitchell was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three runs batted in, all career-highs. Junior Alex Walts was 3-for-4 with a run batted in, and Rhodes was 2-for-5 with two runs scored.

Freshman pitcher Josh Stella picked up his first collegiate win with an effective outing in relief of starter Matt Young. He tossed 3 1/3 innings and allowed one earned run until allowing a home run in the top of the eighth.

Freshman Dante Toppi recorded his first collegiate save, tossing the final two innings with two strikeouts and no earned runs allowed.

In Sunday's opener, Ring and Rhodes each drove in two runs.

ON THE CLOCK: Hillsdale heads to West Virginia to face future G-MAC foes Davis & Elkins next weekend.