March 24, 2013 - Freezing temperatures and a swirling wind are hardly the ideal recipe for college baseball. But the Charger baseball team kept its warm start to the season going Sunday afternoon.
With four players getting multi-hit games, and a marvelous relief pitching effort by freshman Jacob Gardner, Hillsdale topped Lake Erie College 9-4 Sunday afternoon in a game played at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Mich. The Chargers are now 9-7 overall and 2-1 in the GLIAC on the season, and travel to Allendale Wednesday to face Grand Valley State.
But on this cold day, the warmest moment took place after the game. More than 50 players and coaches gathered in front of the visiting dugout, as the Hillsdale College baseball program made a donation to the Reid Rizzo Foundation, an organization put together after ther tragic death of one of Lake Erie College's baseball players. It was an emotional scene that concluded a weekend of three well-played, competitve games that embodied the true spirit of sportsmanship in college athetics.
Freshman Geordy Smith went 3-for-4 with a triple and two runs scored to spark Hillsdale's offense. Senior Mike Vanchieri and freshman Luke Ortel each had two hits and two runs scored, and sophomore Vinny Delicata punched out two hits, including a two-run single.
Hillsdale got off to a great start in the game, scoring four runs in the first inning to give freshman starting pitcher Chris McDonald a nice cushion to work with. Vanchieri and Smith each had run-scoring hits in the opening frame to help spring the Chargers off to the big early lead.
The Chargers padded their lead in the seventh inning to put the Storm away, scoring three times to stretch their lead to 9-3. Delicata's two-run single was the key hit in the inning, while freshman Connor Bartlett scored on a wild pitch.
McDonald got the win, but Gardner came in with 4 2/3 innings pitched in relief to earn the save. He struck out six batters in an impressive outing.
March 23, 2013 - Sophomore Dan Pochmara has been one of several early-season revelations for the Hillsdale College baseball team. Saturday afternoon, he figured into a Charger win for the fifth time out of eight wins this season.
Pochmara slammed the door on the Lake Erie College Storm baseball team, picking up his second save of the season in a 3-2 Hillsdale win in games played at Siena Heights University in Adrian. Lake Erie won the opener 8-3.
The two teams are scheduled to wrap up their three-game weekend series at noon Sunday, also at Siena Heights. They will play a single nine-inning contest.
Freshman Lucas Hamelink picked up the win in his first-ever GLIAC start in Saturday's nightcap, going 5 2/3 innings with five strikeouts and two earned runs allowed. It was his first win since the team's win over the University of Tampa last month.
Pochmara, who now has three wins and two saves on the season, came on in relief of Hamelink with two outs in the sixth, and promptly struck out the first batter he faced. He then set the Storm down 1-2-3 in the seventh to wrap up the victory.
Pochmara has either a win or a save in all five of his appearances this season, and is sporting a 0.54 earned run average.
The top two hitters in Hillsdale's lineup, freshmen Luke Ortel and Michael O'Sullivan, each had two hits in the game 2 win, and Ortel scored two runs. Sophomore Adam Ladzinski delivered a key pinch-hit RBI single for Hillsdale, while Tad Sobieszczanski and Mike Vanchieri (pictured) each drove in a run.
In the first game, senior Scott Lantis had a two-run single, and freshman Connor Bartlett had two hits for the Chargers. Hillsdale led 3-2 into the fifth inning when Lake Erie rallied with two runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth innings.