Lima, OH – Barons baseball had a busy week full of Ohio Regional Campus opponents and the beginning to the ORCC schedule.
Tuesday, saw a non conference game with OU Lancaster postponed due to rain, so action actually didn’t start until Thursday with a trip to returning ORCC Champion, Miami Hamilton. Knowing the importance of the first ORCC game of the season both squads sent out their number 1 starters. For the Barons it was returning ORCC player of the year Cory Echols who was coming in with a record of 1 & 2 and for the Harriers it was Colin Schwendt who was coming in with a record of 4 & 2. While both pitchers threw well, this contest went to Schwendt as he held the Barons to only 1 hit that came in the first inning off the bat of pitcher Cory Echols on his way to a 5 – 0 win. “Schwendt did a great job of mixing what appeared to be sinker/slider stuff all game long. He hides the ball well, and works the knees. We did our best against him today, and hit some balls well, unfortunately for us we just hit it right at them too often today.” Commented Barons Head Coach Abe Ambroza.
Offensively for the Harriers they scored their runs in bunches with 2 in the 1st inning and 3 in the 5th inning as Apking and Yearly of Hamilton combined for 3 doubles and 4 of the 5 runs in those two innings. The two teams will meet again this coming Thursday for another game at Hamilton, starting at 6pm.
Saturday saw the Hilltoppers of OU Chillicothe come to Lima for a doubleheader where the Barons bats exploded to life after the quieting on Thursday.
In game 1 the Barons methodically tallied runs to claim an 11 – 0 victory. Dustin Craig took the mound and cruised to the win on 5 innings pitched, with 10 strike outs and allowed only 1 hit and 1 walk, raising his record to 1 & 1 on the year. Offensively the Barons had contributions from nearly everyone in the lineup as 7 of the 9 had hits, four of which had multiple. Offensive highlights for the Barons were, Ryan Kortokrax going 2 for 3 with a homerun, a double, 3 runs scored, and 3 RBI, Damon Koverman also went 2 for 3 with 4 RBI on 2 singles, and Kyle Hall who also had a home run in the opener.
In the nightcap the Barons continued their offensive attack as they won 19 to 3. It didn’t take long to build a big lead either as the Barons sent 18 men to the plate in the first inning, scoring 12 runs to start the game! “I have never been a part of a game that saw 18 batters in just one inning. Yes, we were swinging some hot bats today, but we also had to have a lot of things go our way. This is a crazy game, you have to take the good fortune whenever it comes your way!” Said Coach Ambroza.
The Barons would add another four runs in the 2nd, one in the 3rd, and the final two in the 4th to build up to the final of 19. On the mound for the Barons was freshman pitcher/outfielder Kyle Hall. Hall threw 4 innings, allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, on 3 hits and 2 walks. Hall also struck out 7 Hilltoppers for the day. Sophomore David Wurst came on in relief to throw a scoreless 5th inning. Offensively the Barons were led by several once again. David Spearman was 2 for 4, scored 3 runs and had 2 RBI, Tyler Slonecker was 2 for 3 with a double, scored 2 runs and had 2 RBI, Ryan Kortokrax was 2 for 4, scored 3 runs and had 2 RBI, Cory Echols was 2 for 2, scored 3 runs and had 1 RBI, Russell Lammers was 3 for 4 with 2 doubles, scored 3 runs and had 4 RBI, Damon Koverman was 3 for 3 and scored 1 run, Michael Allen was 3 for 3 with 2 doubles, scored 2 runs and had 2 RBI, Chris Crosswhite was 1 for 2 with a double, scored 2 runs and had 1 RBI.
The Barons then had to hit the road for the 2nd and final regular season matchup with ORCC for OSU Newark in a non conference matchup. The Barons came out on top again, this time by a score of 13 to 12. “I’ll tell ya what. Every time we play these guys it’s a battle! We came out punching early with 6 runs in the first, but we knew it wasn’t going to be enough. Fortunately, despite some injuries we found a way to hang on and get a big win today.” Said Coach Ambroza. And that is exactly what happened. After an early 6 run lead, the Barons saw the Titans of OSU Newark close the gap to just 2 runs. Then, in the 7th the Barons added 1 run and another 2 runs in the 8th to build their lead back up to 5, and held that lead going in to the 9th. Those insurance runs turned out to be the difference in the game after OSU Newark scored 4 more times in the 9th, the Barons finally got the last out to secure the hard fought victory.
Offensively the Barons were led on the day by many once again as ten different Barons had at bats on the day and all ten managed at least 1 hit. David Spearman was 3 for 4 with a double, and scored 2 runs, Tyler Slonecker was 3 for 3, scored 2 runs and had 1 RBI, Damon Koverman was 2 for 4 with a double, scored 2 runs and had 3 RBI, Michael Allen was 2 for 4 with 2 RBI, and Kyle Hall was 2 for 5 with a double, 1 run scored and 1 RBI.
On the mound, freshman Russell Lammers got the win to raise his record to 1 & 1 on the year. Lammers lasted 5 innings, allowing 8 runs, only 3 earned on 6 hits and 2 walks, Lammers struck out 3. Earning the 4 inning save was sophomore, Michael Allen who pitched 4 innings, allowing 4 runs, 2 earned on 4 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2.
The Barons will return to action on Tuesday, April 12th with a home contest with OSU Mansfield starting at 4pm. They will then be going on the road again with 3 more ORCC games on the schedule, 1 on Thursday at MU Hamilton, and 2 on Saturday at MU Middletown.
Come out and support your Barons. Admission is free to all. Plus, in addition to great college baseball you can enjoy the sounds provided by Crashed Karaoke and great concessions provided by the Lima Campus Student Activities Board and the Barons Volleyball Team!
OSU Lima Rhodes--4-4-1-2-x-11-11--0
Winning pitcher: Dustyn Craig(1-1)
Losing pitcher: Davis(0-1)
Doubles: Ryan Kortokrax(L), Rusty Lammers(L)
Home runs: Ryan Kortokrax(L), Kyle Hall(L)
OSU Lima Rhodes-12-4-1-2-x-19-18--0
Winning pitcher: Kyle Hall(1-1)
Losing pitcher: Johnson(0-1)
Doubles: Rusty Lammers-2(L), Michael Allen-2(L), Tyler Slonecker(L), Chris Crosswhite(L),
OSU Lima Rhodes(4-9)