The Charger baseball team fields one of the youngest lineups in the GLIAC day in and day out. But the team showed some maturity in earning a doubleheader sweep at home Saturday afternoon.
Hillsdale drew 18 walks over the course of the two games, and took advantage of their opportunities, defeating the University of Findlay by scores of 10-2 and 9-2 at Simpson Field. The wins make Hillsdale 13-16 overall and 6-8 in the GLIAC.
The team's patient approach was balanced out with some clutch hitting by players penciled into the lower half of the order. Balance like that is what helps create winning baseball, and Hillsdale put together the winning formula all day long.
The Oilers led 2-0 through 3 ½ innings in the opener before the Charger bats got on track. Sophomore Dylan Lottinville energized the team with a grand slam home run in the bottom of the fourth inning, suddenly putting the Chargers on top 4-2. It was Lottinville's first collegiate grand slam.
The momentum clearly carried over into the next two innings, when Hillsdale plated three runs in each.
Lottinville drove in his career-high fifth run of the game with a bases loaded walk, and junior Ryan O'Hearn followed with a two-out, two-strike single to center that scored Jake Rhodes and Alex Walts.
Walts would later drive in two with a single of his own, adding to Hillsdale's strong hitting in the lower spots of the lineup.
Walts was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI and two runs scored, and O'Hearn was 2-for-4 with two runs batted in.
Junior Will Kruse was terrific on the mound, going the distance with eight strikeouts against just one walk and one earned run allowed. He is now tied for second in the GLIAC with five wins on the season.
O'Hearn followed up his good first game with a strong second one, as he went 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and two more runs batted in.
Sophomore Steven Ring hit a solo home run, and Ethan Wiskur, Lottinville and Chris Ackerman each scored two runs for the Chargers. Colin Hites settled in nicely in the leadoff spot and was 2-for-4 with 2 RBI.
Freshman Kolton Rominski was impressive on the mound in recording his second career victory. He went 6 1/3 innings with five strikeouts and five hits allowed. Rominski did an excellent job of locating his pitches and working out of jams throughout the start. Senior Joe Chasen provided the team with another excellent outing in relief, pitching 1 2/3 innings with three strikeouts.