Baseball 4-0 in NCAC Play
Oberlin College baseball is off to its best start ever in the North Coast Athletic Conference. The Yeomen completed a four game sweep of Hiram College this past weekend to open up NCAC play 4-0 after going .500 in eight games in Arizona over spring break.
First-year Jack Dunn led the Yeomen to victory against both Colby College and Middlebury College in Arizona as he pitched a complete game against each squad. He only allowed one run in each game, while striking out 10 of Colby’s batters.
Oberlin returned from Arizona with a 5-10 overall mark as the team prepared to start conference play at home against Hiram College. Senior Jaremy Rich started the home and conference opener for the Yeomen and threw a complete game, allowing only two runs.
In the second game of the day, Oberlin had a three run lead when Hiram loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the sixth. Dunn relieved sophomore pitcher Eric Gibbs, got out of the jam with the lead and recorded the save in the game.
Dunn’s dominance in Arizona coupled with his save against Hiram earned him NCAC pitcher of the week honors.
The heroics did not end there for the young pitcher. On Monday, April 2, the Yeomen continued their winning streak with some remarkable play. Trailing 6-3 in the third game against Hiram in the bottom half of the sixth, Oberlin rallied. After a sacrifice fly by senior Seth Binder, which brought the Yeomen within two, senior Rick Betzel hit a three-run home run to give the Yeomen a one-run lead.
Hiram responded by scoring seven runs with the help of two Yeomen errors in the top half of the seventh to take a seemingly insurmountable six-run lead with just half an inning to play.
The first six Yeomen hitters drew four walks and got hit by one pitch to bring Oberlin within four with the bases loaded and one out. With one swing, sophomore P.J. Carter unloaded the bases and tied the game with a grand slam.
Then, with two outs and a man on first, Dunn helped out the Yeomen in the least likely of ways, with his bat. While Dunn has been dominant in his last few outings on the mound, he entered the game hitting .048.
Dunn nearly doubled his batting average with his walk off, two-run shot to finish off the amazing comeback and gave the Yeomen an exhilarating win, 15-13.
While Dunn may have looked the hero, he gave credit for the win to the team. “Having my first home run in college felt pretty amazing, especially since it was a game winner. But it was all a team effort. The guys really came together in a clutch situation to come back and win.”
As an encore to his walk off dinger, Dunn started the second game and allowed just two hits and an unearned run while striking out six as the Yeomen won 3-1.
With Oberlin on a roll, other teams will have to take notice. Said Rich, “We’re a serious contender this year, and the other teams in the NCAC better look out.”
Oberlin will look to continue its roll when the team travels to Wooster for four games over Easter weekend.