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Baseball opens NCAC Crossover Weekend with doubleheader split against Wittenberg

Baseball opens NCAC Crossover Weekend with doubleheader split against Wittenberg

By: Andrew Korba

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio -- The Hiram College baseball team split a doubleheader at Wittenberg during NCAC Crossover Weekend on Saturday.

The NCAC Crossover Weekend pits teams from the East Division and West Division against each other in a 3-game series.

Wittenberg (10-27, 3-15 NCAC) took the opener 11-1, but the Terriers (7-26, 4-14 NCAC) responded with a convincing 15-4 win in the nightcap.

In the second game, Hiram wasted no time taking control of the contest, scoring three times in the first and second inning to take a early 6-0 lead.

In the first, junior Brandon Chesmar (Elyria, Ohio/Amherst Steele) opened the scoring by crossing home on a passed ball. Junior Brandon Gros (Ravenna, Ohio/Crestwood) would lace a 2-RBI single later in the inning to give the Terriers the lead.

In the second frame, Hiram got a 2-RBI single from senior Trevor Foster (Warren, Ohio/Champion) and a RBI single from freshman Christian Owens (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio/Woodridge) to close out the early rally.

Wittenberg got on the board in the bottom of the third, but Hiram came back in the fifth, getting a sacrifice fly from sophomore Phil Ward (Garfield Heights, Ohio/Garfield Heights) to build a 7-1 advantage.

The Tigers countered with a run in the bottom of the fifth, but the Terriers put the game away for good in sixth, plating five more runs.

With a runner on, sophomore Kyle Watson (Warren, Ohio/Howland) doubled to right field to score Gros. Two batters later, freshman Brian Fryda (Youngstown, Ohio/Boardman) drove in two runs with a single and Ward drove in two runs later in the inning with a single as well.

Ward added more insurance in the eighth inning, blasting a 3-run homer to center to give Hiram a 15-2 lead.

The Tigers would add two runs in the eighth, but could get no closer.

Ward finished the game 3-for-6 with 6-RBI's and two runs scored. Freshman Bryan Engdahl (Escondido, Calif./San Pasqual) recorded a career-high four hits and Gros added three base knocks.

Freshman Justin Joyce (Fort Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian) gave up two runs in seven innings of work for his second win of the season.

In Game 1, the Terriers scored a run in the first as Foster singled to center to drive in Ward.

But it was all Wittenberg from there, as the Tigers scored eight total runs in the first three innings en route to a 11-1 victory.

Engdahl and Ward each collected two hits.

The two teams will close out the weekend series on Sunday, May 8. The first game will count towards the crossover series and will begin at noon, with the second contest being counted as a non-conference tilt and starting at approximately 3 p.m.