Two conferences. Two conference records.
Over the past four years, the Hillsdale College baseball team has hit long balls at an historic rate. In 2016, it set the GLIAC single-season record for home runs with 68.
Monday afternoon, the exact same record in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference was broken.
Hillsdale hit four home runs in a 14-12 win over Concordia (MI) at Simpson Field. That gives the team a new single-season conference record of 62, with nine regular season games still remaining. Kentucky Wesleyan set the old record of 58 last year.
Senior Steven Ring (of course) tied the record with his two-run home run in the first inning to give the Chargers a 2-0 lead in the first inning. One inning later, Jake Hoover muscled a two-run shot to left to set the conference's single-season mark. Hoover's hit was part of a seven-run inning that put Hillsdale on top 10-0 through two innings.
In that second inning, senior Christian Rodino powered a grand slam home run to center, scoring James Krick, Cody Kanclerz and Ring to quickly add to the record. Senior Dylan Lottinville, who went 2-for-5 in the win, hit his first home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth, which countered an eight-run inning by the Cardinals to tighten up the game.
Rodino drove in a career-high seven runs in the victory, going 3-for-5. He became the third different player this season with seven or more RBI in a single game, joining Ring and Dante Toppi.
Kanclerz, making his collegiate debut in the No. 3 spot in the lineup, went 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Ring and Hoover also scored three times, while Krick was 2-for-5.
PHOTO: MaryKate Drews