SEWANEE, Tennessee – The Earlham College baseball team came from seven runs down in game two, but the University of the South (Sewanee) swept the Quakers in a doubleheader, winning game one 6-2 and game two 12-11 on Saturday afternoon.
In the game one, the Tigers (6-7) plated a run in each of the first two innings, but broke the game open when the first three batters reached base. Sophomore Trey Akins then emptied the bases with a home run, putting the hosts up 6-0.
Earlham, which did not see a baserunner in the first three innings, opened the fourth inning with a solo home run off of the bat of senior Matt Barger. Fellow senior Nate Lynch followed with a single, but got caught stealing. The two groundouts that followed ended the Quakers' threat.
After a one-two-three bottom half of the fourth inning courtesy of senior pitcher Howie Smith, junior Ian Bach doubled home sophomore Addison Robertson in the top of the fifth to pull the Quakers within four runs at 6-2.
Sewanee pitcher Drew Mancuso then returned to form from the first three innings, and did not allow an Earlham batter to reach base for the final four innings to give the Tigers a win.
Mancuso improved to 3-1 on the season with the win, striking out eight batters compared to one walk in the complete-game win. Smith took the loss for Earlham, allowing six earned runs while striking out five in six innings of work. Junior Dorian Holmes pitched the final two innings, allowing just one hit.
Akins finished the game 3-4 with four RBIs to lead the Tigers offensively. The Quakers ended the game 3-29 from the plate as a team.
In game two, Earlham again fell behind early as Sewanee scored two runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning. Senior Eric Elkus, who set the program record for home runs in a season in 2016, belted a three-run home run in the third inning. An RBI-double from freshman Isaiah Shake in the next inning gave the Quakers a 4-2 edge.
Trailing for the first time in the series, the Tigers got to the Quakers' pitching staff over the fifth and sixth innings, scoring nine runs on eight hits and three drawn walks.
Earlham battled back, however, scoring two runs in the seventh to get within five (11-6). After holding Sewanee scoreless in the bottom half of the inning, senior Cody Krumlauf singled home two runs in the eighth. Freshman Danny Dopp followed with a two-RBI triple, pulling the Quakers within a single run (11-10). Dopp then tied the game by scoring on a wild pitch.
The Tigers responded with what proved to be the game-winning run on a Quaker error in the bottom of the eighth inning.
Freshman Austin Green took the loss for Earlham, allowing three hits and one earned run despite striking out three batters in 1.1 innings. The Quakers used six pitched as starter, junior Matt Mathies, went one third of an inning.
Elkus tallied seven RBIs for the Quakers to finish 2-5 on the game. Senior Brennan Laird added two hits on four at bats with two runs scored.
Akins led the Tigers once again, going 4-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
The Quakers will try to salvage the series with a 1 p.m. contest tomorrow (Sunday).