DEFIANCE, OHIO - For the first time since 2013, Defiance College baseball is headed to the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. A pair of identical 7-1 victories over Mount St. Joseph on Sunday solidified the Yellow Jackets place in the post season action.
After a pivotal road sweep of Franklin College on Friday, the Yellow Jackets picked up right where they left off. In the opening inning of action, Garrett Sierra (Defiance) started the affair with a lead-off single before Ben Bucklew (Archbold) and Michael Gilliland (Napoleon) reached base. Troy Konwinski rocketed a single back up the middle, scoring two DC runs.
The Purple and Gold were not done in the first as Nate Kaffenbarger (DeGraff / Indian Lake) took to the plate. The sophomore hit a single into right field, bringing home Gilliland for the three run lead.
After a handful of scoreless innings, DC tallied one more run in the sixth before scoring another trio of runs in the eighth inning.
Daniel Tomalak (Tecumseh, Mich. / Clinton) was awarded the win on the mound for his efforts. The sophomore threw for eight innings while allowing just one run on six hits.
After stagnant scoring for four innings in game two, the Yellow Jackets struck again. Jude Neary (Toledo / Cardinal Stritch Catholic) and Grant Vickery (Bellevue) landed on base via a bunt-single and a double to left field respectively. Bucklew then stepped to the plate and hit a triple to the fence in left center, driving in both runners.
In the sixth, DC posted four more runs. A Michael Reese (Constantine, Mich. / Constantine) RBI alongside a errant play from the Lions' defense gave Defiance the first two runs of the inning. Sierra hit a two-RBI single into left field to round out the inning's scoring.
One more run in the eighth inning, via a Bucklew single, pushed the Yellow Jackets to the ultimate final score of 7-1.
The pair of victories improves Defiance's winning streak to five games heading into postseason action. The Yellow Jackets finish the season 21-14-1, marking a win total that has not been achieved in 24 seasons.
The 10-8 record for DC baseball is worthy of the fourth seed in the 2019 HCAC Tournament. The Yellow Jackets will head to Terre Haute, Ind. and the campus of Rose-Hulman for the action beginning on Thursday, May 9, as they take on Transylvania.