The Defiance College Yellow Jackets split a doubleheader Saturday with Earlham to close out the opening series of the HCAC schedule. The Yellow Jackets dropped the opener 6-1, but survived a late rally by Earlham and defeated the Quakers in extra innings 7-5.
Defiance (7-7, 1-2 HCAC) struggled to get the offense going in game one, being held scoreless for the first seven innings. Earlham (10-3, 2-1 HCAC) jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second and added a third run in the next inning.
In the fifth inning, Defiance fell behind even more after giving up an RBI single, which preceded a 2-run home run to right field that gave the Quakers a 6-0 lead.
The Yellow Jackets finally strung some at bats together in the seventh inning and Ryan Kohlhofer crossed home plate for the Yellow Jackets only run of the game on a Quinten Harrington single to left field.
Dave Blanch picked up the loss in the decision, falling to 1-1 on the season, giving up all six runs, five earned, on eight hits in five innings of work. Blanch had three strikeouts in the game.
Darin Waterman extended his on-base streak with a pair of hits. Gary Levengood and Harrington also had two hits in the game and Kohlhofer reached twice on a hit and a walk.
In game two, the Yellow Jackets jumped out to an early lead with four runs in the second inning. Chris Donese put DC on the scoreboard with a single to right that scored Joel Musser.
Kohlhofer then stepped up with the bases loaded and ripped a two-RBI double to center field that scored Ben Weber and Brandon Riley. Zack Reed followed it up with a RBI ground out that scored Donese from third.
Over the next eight innings, the Yellow Jackets were held scoreless as Earlham closed the gap. The Quakers' first run came in the second inning by way of a home run.
Earlham added two runs in the fifth inning on a RBI single and a sacrifice fly.
The Yellow Jackets carried a 4-3 lead into the bottom of the ninth, but were unable to close the game as Earlham stepped up and tied the game to push it to extra innings.
Defiance struck first by way of a wild pitch. The Yellow Jackets loaded the bases and Waterman advanced home on the bad pitch. Defiance was unable to plate anymore runs though, failing to add any insurance.
Earlham capitalized and sent the game to an 11th inning after scoring on a single and an error.
Defiance would not be denied though, as the Yellow Jackets scored the go ahead run in the 11th and and added an insurance run to go up 7-5. Reed picked up his second RBI with a single to score Donese for the first run. Levengood then scored Kohlhofer on a sacrifice fly for the second run of the inning.
Musser picked up the win in relief for DC, pitching the 10th and 11th innings, allowing the one run on three hits.
Waterman went 4-for-5 in the game and extended his reached base streak to 35 games dating back to the 2013 season.
Kohlhofer went 3-for-6 in the game and extended his streak of 53 total plate appearances without a strikeout to start the season. He has registered 43 official at bats with ever one resulting a ball in play to go along with nine walks and a sacrifice fly.
Defiance will open up its home schedule Tuesday with a single game against Ohio Christian. First pitch is scheduled for 4:!5 at Rutter Field. DC will return to HCAC play on Friday with the first of three games against Transylvania.