Little Giants Use Long Ball to Take Sunday Split at Witt

More news about: Wabash

Wabash hit three home runs in the final game of the four-game series at Wittenberg to defeat the Tigers 12-8. The Little Giants lost 6-3 in the first game on Sunday, taking the series three games to one.

Freshman Tyler Hampton launched two home runs — the first two of his career — and John Holm added his ninth of the season to help the Little Giants improve to 13-13 for the season and 4-4 in the North Coast Athletic Conference West Division.

Wabash opened the scoring in the third inning on a Chris Deig double to score Robby Hechinger from second. Wabash added two more in the fourth when Montana Timmons was hit by a pitch. John Pennington dropped a sacrifice bunt towards the pitcher, who threw the ball away down the first base line. Timmons raced around the bases to score, while Pennington reached third. One batter later Andrew Rodgers brought Pennington home with a ground ball to second to give the Little Giants the 3-0 lead.

Wabash exploded for five runs in the sixth. Trey Fankhauser started the inning by barely missing his first homer of the season on a ball that sailed foul, but followed with a double to right centerfield. One batter later Hampton smashed his first career home run with a hit to left centerfield. Deig continued the rally with a two-out single before stealing second base, then scoring on a single by Tanner Watson. Wittenberg (17-8, 3-5 NCAC West) changed pitchers, and Holm promptly greeted the new arrival with his ninth home run of the year to move back into a tie for the Division III lead with John Macon David from Guilford.

After the Little Giants scored the five-run sixth to move in front 8-0, Wittenberg answered with five runs in the bottom half of the inning. Hampton came to the plate again with one out in the top of the seventh and hit his second home run, this time down the left field line over the 340-foot sign. The Tigers tacked on a run in the seventh to stay within three runs of Wabash.

The Little Giants scored their final three runs in the ninth off RBI singles by Watson, Timmons, and Pennington. Wittenberg picked up two runs in the ninth before Luke Zinsmaster shut the door to give starting pitcher Jeff Soller the win — his first victory of the year.

Soller pitched six innings and was tagged for five unearned runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out two. Luke Holm worked 2-1/3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits with two walks and two K's. Zinsmaster pitched the final 2/3 of an inning, allowing one walk while recording one strikeout.

Wabash took an early 2-0 lead in game one on Sunday. Holm drove Deig home with the first run of the game in the first inning, then Timmons produced the second run with a sacrifice fly. Wittenberg took control of the game by scoring three runs in the first, another in the second and two more in the third. The Little Giants picked up a run in the fourth on an RBI single by Hechinger.

Chris Widup took the loss for the Little Giants. He ptiched six innings of nine-hit baseball, giving up six runs — three earned — with one walk and two strikeouts.

Hampton. Holm, Hechinger, Deig, and Watson each finished with three hits in the two Sunday contests. Holm and Hampton finished with three RBI apiece.

The Little Giants will play at Butler University on Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. before traveling to Chillicothe, Ohio on Saturday to face the College of Wooster and Case Western Reserve.