Playoff bound: Baseball clinches first conference tournament bid

Joe Kroeger
Joe Kroeger

AMBLER, Pa. - The Hood College baseball team locked up its first trip to the Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth Championships with a victory in the second game of a conference doubleheader at Arcadia. The Knights took the first game 14-11 before the Blazers erupted for a 21-3 win in the nightcap. 

Joe Kroeger went 6 for 8 between the two games and drove in a career-high five in the first game. Nathan Kessler was 6 for 9 with four runs scored and five RBIs. Dylan Johnson walked four times. Brad Sawyer pitched a complete game for the victory in game two. He struck out four and allowed four hits and five walks. 

Arcadia 14, Hood 11

  • Hood tied the game with a four-run top of the fourth but Arcadia scored five in the bottom half to take the lead for good. 
  • Johnson led off the Blazer fourth with a walk and Sawyer singled to put two runners on. Alex Staton walked with one out to load the bases and Kroeger singled in a pair of runs to cut the deficit to 4-2. Staton scored from second on a squeeze by Trent Copenhaver and Esposito knocked in Kroeger to tie the game. 
  • The Knights answered in the bottom of the inning with five runs on two fielder's choices, two singles and a groundout.
  • A two-run single by Kroeger and an RBI single from Copenhaver made it 9-7 after Hood's half of the fifth. Two Hood errors in the bottom of the frame allowed Arcadia to stretch the lead to 12-7. 
  • The Blazers pulled within a run with a four-run sixth. Kessler knocked in Daniel Shepherd with a single. A fielder's choice by Friend brought in Kessler for a 12-9 deficit. After Staton reached on an error, Kroeger singled home a run and Staton scored on another error to make it 12-11. 
  • Brett Moyer and Bryan Gillen drove in runs in the bottom of the sixth to put the game out of reach. 
  • Kroeger went 4 for 4 with a double and five RBIs. Kessler had three hits and Staton scored three times. 
  • Nate Luscombe pitched the first four innings to take the loss. 
  • Jeremy Sabanthne picked up the win for the Knights, who received three hits and four RBIs from Gillen. 

Hood 21, Arcadia 3

  • While Hood's offense continued to fire on all cylinders, Sawyer silenced Arcadia's bats. 
  • Kessler went 3 for 4 with three runs scored and four RBIs. Staton was 3 for 4, scored three times, drove in three and stole two bases. Copenhaver scored three times, while Esposito and Shepherd drove in three apiece. 
  • Arcadia scored twice on two hits in the first, but Sawyer held the Knights to just two more hits over the final six innings. Overall, he retired 13 of 16 between the final out of the second through the end of the sixth inning. 
  • Hood broke the game open with an eight-run second. After Johnson walked and Eric Turner was hit by a pitch to start the inning, the Blazers reeled off five straight hits with one out. Staton doubled in two runs to tie the game. An RBI single by Copenhaver scored the go-ahead runs and Esposito stretched it to 4-2 with a bunt, RBI single. A throwing error brought in a run Shepherd doubled home a pair and scored for an 8-2 lead. 
  • After a one-run third, Hood scored seven in the fourth to take a 16-2 advantage. Esposito and Kessler had two-run hits and Kroeger, Staton and Johnson added RBI singles in the inning. 
  • Five more runs came home in the top of the seventh. Kessler drew a bases-loaded walk with one out. An error scored a run, Johnson drove one in with a groundout and Nick Meyer capped Hood's scoring with a two-run single. 
  • Luke Hohenstein had two RBIs for Arcadia.
  • Andrew Scholz allowed eight runs, four earned, in 1.2 innings to take the loss. 

Notes

  • Hood moved to 27-7 overall and 11-7 in the MAC Commonwealth with the split. 
  • Arcadia is 22-9 and 12-4. 
  • The playoff berth will be the first Hood baseball's four years of existence. 

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The Blazers are idle before heading to Widener on Friday, April 27. 

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