The doubleheader against Rose-Hulman today would be the last time five seniors stepped on the field for Defiance College. It wasn’t the goodbye they wanted though as they dropped both games one and two 12-5 and 13-4, respectively.
Seniors Darin Waterman (Celina, Ohio / Celina), Patrick Masopust (Royal Oak, Mich. / Shrine Catholic), Brandon Riley (Springboro, Ohio / Springboro), Aaron Helland (Defiance, Ohio / Defiance), and Trey Trumpower (Loudonville, Ohio / Loudonville) were all honored for their services as Yellow Jackets.
The Yellow Jackets (9-29, 3-22 HCAC) started game one of the season closing doubleheader at a steady pace. After Rose-Hulman (23-16, 16-9 HCAC) scored two runs in the first inning, Defiance added a run of their own in the second with a score from Gary Levengood (Beverly Hills, Fla. / Lecanto). Levengood reached earlier with a single through the right side. He was pushed to second after Masopust was hit by a pitch. Matt Staels (Harrison Township, Mich. / L'Anse Creuse) came up to the plate with two runners on and singled through the left side to bring in the score of Levengood and earn himself an RBI.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Yellow Jackets took the lead 3-2. Ben Weber (Troy, Ohio / Lehman Catholic) started off the inning with a hit through the right side for a single, and stole second base during Levengood’s at bat. Levengood also singled through the right side and stole second base to move Weber into scoring position. Masopust took his single the other way through the left side to earn an RBI by scoring Weber. Staels reached base on a fielding error by the Fightin’ Engineers shortstop, which scored Levengood for his second run of the game.
The Yellow Jackets kept the momentum going with a run in the fifth inning. Helland started the inning by reaching first on another Rose-Hulman shortstop fielding error. Helland stole second and later scored with Waterman’s single to leftfield.
Defiance added their last run in the seventh which wasn’t enough for a win. Helland scored the final run for the Yellow Jackets when he started off the inning with a walk. With Ryan Kohlhofer (Walbridge, Ohio / Lake) and Waterman’s at bats, Helland advanced himself to third. A passed ball allowed Helland to score with two outs in the inning.
DC’s defense held strong for much of the game. A six run sixth inning for Rose was the difference in the game as it created too much of a gap for the Yellow Jackets to close.
Mistakes cost the Yellow Jackets a sweet finale as they fell to Rose-Hulman 13-4 in the second game of the doubleheader.
Matt Clark (Sandusky, Ohio / Perkins) took the hill for the second game of the double-header. Rose-Hulman got off to a quick start on Clark with a lead-off double, but Clark managed to pitch his way out of the inning without giving up a run. However, the second inning took a turn for the worst after two costly one-out errors led to all nine of Rose-Hulman’s players crossing home plate in the inning.
Clark was unable to get out of the inning and Drew Miller (Walled Lake, Mich. / Walled Lake Central) relieved Clark of his duties. Miller gave up an RBI double against his first batter for the ninth and final run of the inning before recording a strikeout and forcing his third batter into a groundout.
In the bottom half of the second inning, senior Brandon Riley (Springsboro, Ohio / Springsboro) tried bringing some momentum back to DC with a triple to left center. Joel Musser (Center Line, Mich. / Center Line) ripped a single through the left side to score Riley for the Yellow Jackets’ only run of the inning.
Defiance allowed a run in the third, a run in the fourth, and two more in the fifth before holding the Fightin’ Engineers scoreless for the final four innings of play.
During the bottom half of the fourth, DC would take advantage of two Rose-Hulman errors for a couple of runs of their own. Once again it began when Riley drove the ball into left center field for a double. Musser then reached on a fielding error before Chris Donese’s (Kettering, Ohio / Fairmont) single led to the second error of the inning. That error allowed both Riley and Musser to score while advancing Donese to second base.
The final run of the game came in the bottom of the seventh with Waterman’s sacrifice fly scoring Helland. Helland originally reached base on a walk before making Rose-Hulman pay by stealing second base and moving to third on a sacrifice fly by Kohlhoffer.
Staels threw two innings of relief while Aaron Paprocki (Sylvania, Ohio / Northview), Nick Ewalt (Galloway, Ohio / West Jefferson), and Drew Weber (Shelby Township, Mich. / Eisenhower) threw an inning each. Those four used their fresh arms to hold Rose-Hulman to just four hits and two runs during the final five innings of play.
Waterman was able to bat in a run in each game to close out his career as a Yellow Jacket. Helland swiped three bases in his final two games. Riley added a double and a triple. Masopust added an RBI and had a hit in each game of the Rose-Hulman series. Trumpower received his first start and got his first base hit on a 1-2 count during the sixth inning of game one.
Defiance ended the season with a 9-29 (3-22 HCAC) record.