The Hillsdale College baseball team got all kinds of offensive production from every corner of its lineup in winning both ends of a Sunday doubleheader at Maryville University Sunday afternoon.
The Chargers hit a total of eight home runs on the weekend - five on Sunday - in wins of 10-8 and 14-4 over the Saints. The team is now 3-2 on the season.
At the center of the offensive explosion - as usual - was senior DH Steven Ring. In game one he went 3-for-4 with 3 RBI and a run scored. He followed that up with another 3-for-4 performance in game two, smacking a home run, two doubles and driving in six.
Ring has 3 home runs and 15 RBI in the first five games of the 2019 season.
Six different players have hit home runs already this season for Hillsdale. Jacob DePillo and James Krick did the trick in game one, with Krick's coming in the top of the ninth, an important run after the Saints had scored four in the eighth to tighten the deficit from 9-5 to 9-8.
In game two, the Saints scored all four of their runs in the first inning, but were shut down over the final eight thanks to the terrific pitching of Jonathan Lapshan. He earned the win with 8 1/3 innings of relief work, allowed no runs with six strikeouts. It was the longest and most effective outing of his career.
Krick homered for the second straight game, and Jake Rhodes belted a three-run home run in the top of the first. Junior Jake Hoover was 2-for-6 with a run batted in and 2 runs scored. Junior Dante Toppi added two hits and two runs scored to the Charger attack.
The coaches of the Hillsdale College baseball team will tell you Kevin Monson is one of the best defensive players the team has had in recent years.
Late Saturday night, Monson used his bat to deliver the game-winning RBI in the team's first victory of the season.
Monson's 11th inning single brought home Chris Stewart in what turned out to be a 10-9 Charger win over Maryville University in St. Louis, Missouri. The marathon game, which lasted more than four hours, gives Hillsdale a 1-2 record on the season.
Stewart opened the 11th inning by lining a single up the middle got to second on a wild pitch, then hustled to third on a ground out by freshman Sean Nemetz. It was a great development to see two players who aren't as well known for their offense, deliver on a night that saw wild momentum swings go both ways.
Hillsdale got home runs from Steven Ring, Jake Hoover and freshman Matt Granzotto, and held leads of 8-3 and 9-5 in the game. But the Saints roared back in the ninth inning and had scored three runs and had the bases loaded when sophomore David Toth came in to pitch. In the toughest situation any relief pitcher can face, Toth had virtually no margin for error with the score 9-8, one out and the bases loaded. Maryville would get one more run, but Toth recorded a strikeout and a groundout to extend the game into extra innings.
Toth would then shut the Saints out in the 10th and 11th innings, earning the victory in relief. He faced 13 batters and struck out four in a well-earned win. Junior Andrew Verbrugge got the start for the Chargers and went 5.2 innings.
Granzotto, Hoover and Ring all had two hits and two runs batted in for the Chargers. Junior Dante Toppi had his best game of the season, going 3-for-5 with an RBI. Monson did more than just get the game-winning hit, he had a career-high three hits in six at bats, scoring once and driving one in.