Baseball Vs. Northwood

“Coming out of it 3 – 1, we will take it,” head coach Eric Theisen said. “It was a long week with a lot of games.”
After the week’s three wins, the Chargers are now 20 – 10 on the season, tying the most wins the program has had in a single season since 2003 — with still a month remaining.
The Chargers started the show early in Tuesday’s front end, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single from junior Ethan Wiskur and a two-run double by des­ig­nated hitter sophomore Alex Walts.
Sophomore Hillsdale starter Will Kruse was out­standing on the mound, recording his fifth win on the season by throwing six innings in which he allowed no runs on three hits while striking out three batters.
Hillsdale’s offense fell silent until the bottom of the fifth inning, when the Chargers exploded for six more runs, stretching their lead to 9 – 0. Senior cen­ter­fielder Luke Ortel and Wiskur both homered in the inning, with the final run coming on a Northwood error.
Northwood struck for three runs in the top of the seventh, but Wiskur added to his already hefty con­tri­bution by coming onto the mound to record the final three outs of the game.
Game two on Tuesday proved to be exciting for an entirely dif­ferent reason.
After the Tim­ber­wolves scored first in the top of the first inning, the Chargers responded with a run of their own in the bottom of the second thanks to a solo shot from senior right­fielder Connor Bartlett.
The seniors con­tinued to flex their muscles the very next inning, when the Chargers added two more runs on a two-run homer from senior third baseman Chris McDonald to push their lead to 3 – 1.
After allowing an unearned run in the first, Hillsdale senior starter Jacob Gardner settled into a groove, and didn’t allow another for the next five innings. Gardner ended the day with an impressive line, hurling 6 1/3 innings, while allowing three runs — two earned — on four hits.
Seniors Evan Chalker, Mitchell Gatt, and McDonald — who was credited with the win — com­bined to shutout Northwood over the next 1 2/3 innings, sending the Chargers to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning with the score knotted at 3 – 3.
Hillsdale took advantage of the oppor­tunity when, after pinch-hit singles from freshmen Jacob Hoover and Chris Ack­erman, Ortel delivered a walk-off double down the right­field line, capping off a 5‑for‑7 per­for­mance on the day. Ortel was rewarded with an ice-cold shower from a Gatorade bucket.
The Chargers had a new foe yes­terday, when they returned to Simpson field for a dou­ble­header against Findlay.
Game one saw the Oilers score two runs in the top of the first inning, fol­lowed by three Charger runs in the bottom half, with RBIs coming from Ortel, Wiskur, and McDonald.
The game ended in a lop­sided 17 – 3 Findlay victory, despite Findlay only out-hitting the Chargers 14 – 13.
“The first game was the first game,” Theisen said. “The game will humble you every once in awhile, remind you that you can’t go out and beat anyone with your eyes closed. We were over that one as soon as the last out was made.”
The main sto­ryline of game two was Hoover, who was informed that he would be starting only twenty minutes prior to gametime. Hoover — who is not even listed as a pitcher on the roster — threw 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs — one earned — on five hits.
Hoover said that after he got some jitters out in first inning, he really settled in.
“You have to know your going to go in and be suc­cessful, because any doubt you have can impair your play,” Hoover said. “Any time I can give the team a chance to win, you can bet I’ll do it.”
The offense took the chance to win that Hoover offered them, scoring eight runs over the final three innings.
McDonald was a large part of the offensive success, gath­ering 3 RBIs in the game. With these RBIs McDonald became the all-time RBI leader in program history.
“The RBI record is special to me because it means I have been able to do my job in helping us win games,” McDonald said. “The guys that hit ahead of me in the order have done an incredible job getting on base and allowing me the oppor­tu­nities to get RBIs.”
The bullpen was once again fan­tastic, com­bining to throw 4 1/3 innings, while allowing only one earned run.
The Chargers will host Ashland this weekend with dou­ble­headers on both Sat­urday and Sunday, before heading to Findlay next Wednesday for a dou­ble­header.

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Stevan Bennett Jr. is a senior from the pumpkin capital of the world, Morton, Illinois. He is studying economics and journalism, and plans on attending law school after Hillsdale. He has written for the Collegian since 2014 and is the sports editor. His addictions include coffee, the Chicago Cubs, NHL 2015, and miscellaneous adventuring. email: | twitter: @StevanBennett