DEFIANCE, Ohio – Senior pitcher Howie Smith went the distance and earned his fifth victory of the season as the Earlham College baseball team opened a three-game series at Defiance College with a 4-2 win on Friday.
Smith used 123 pitches in the win, allowing just two unearned runs. The Hamilton, Ohio, native fanned seven Yellow Jackets while allowing seven hits. Additionally, the win gives Smith 19 for his career, placing him in a tie with Ron Williams (1967-70) and Jerry Stroud (1968-71) for the most in program history.
After Smith stranded a Defiance runner at second base in the bottom half of the inning, junior Kendal Baker and senior Nate Lynch opened the third inning with bunt singles. Seniors Brennan Laird and Eric Elkus delivered RBI-singles as well as fellow senior Matt Barger reaching base via an error. In total, the Quakers scored three runs on four hits in the third.
Defiance got two runs back in the third, but neither team would have a runner cross home plate the rest of the contest.
Earlham tallied 10 hits as a team including two from Elkus, Dopp, and Baker. Barger added one hit and a stolen base. Three Yellow Jackets (Zach Reed, Dave Blanch, and Michael Gilliland) had two hits.
The Quakers improve to 13-9 overall and remain 1.5 games out of first place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) with an 8-5 mark. Both teams will play a doubleheader beginning at noon tomorrow (Saturday).