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Owls sweep opening day against Harriers

HAMILTON, Ohio – On Sunday afternoon, the Kenyon College baseball team kicked off its 2024 season from Hamilton, Ohio for two seven-inning matchups against the Miami University Hamilton Harriers. 

A high-powered offensive inning in each game propelled the Owls over the Harriers in the doubleheader opener, winning 6-5 in the first game and 8-6 in the second of the opening day battle of the birds. 

In the first game, Kenyon started hot, as Dustin Lee singled in the top of the first to bring home Malcolm Gaynor to put the Owls up one. Miami Hamilton (3-5) responded in the bottom of the inning after two homers brought in three RBIs, putting the Owls behind 3-1. 

The Owls came back and recorded four unanswered runs as Drew Robinson scored off the bat of Stephen Carr to open the second. Edwin Groff drilled a solo homer in the third, and Luke Meister and Robinson circled the bags to put the Owls up 5-3. 

Miami Hamilton pulled within one in the bottom of the third, but Ben Zimmerman grinded out the deciding run for Kenyon after getting hit by a pitch, stealing second, and scoring on smart baserunning to get the Owls to 6-4.

Down the stretch, Frank Lynch kept the Harriers in check, coming on in relief and going three innings with three hits, two runs (one earned run) and five strikeouts. Miami would go on to score one more run, but Jack Enger ended any rally hopes in the bottom of the seventh, striking out the final two batters to save the 6-5 win. 

Kenyon again started the scoring in the second game of the doublehearder, as Tripper Capps sent home Meister by way of a single in the top of the second. On the very next at bat, Ben Russel sent a three run shot over the fence to put the Owls up 4-0. 

The Harriers batted in three runs in the second and third innings, but Dustin Lee singled twice in the third and the fifth, driving home Groff both times to put the Owls ahead 6-3 after five innings. 

Kenyon added to it’s lead to open the seventh inning, as Robinson singled and scored Groff for his team-high third run of the game, fourth of the afternoon. After loading the bases, Carr was hit by a pitch, sending home Niko Price to make it an 8-3 game. 

Miami scored three times in the bottom of the seventh, but it wasn’t enough, as Kenyon hung on to complete the doubleheader sweep 8-6.

Lynch and Lewis Cropper came away with wins on the afternoon, while Enger and Colin Shue picked up saves. Robinson led the offense with five hits combined, while Lee and Russell each had three RBIs. 

Kenyon’s record moves to 2-0 on the young season, and the Owls are back in action on Sunday, March 3 as the team kicks off its Spring Break trip to take on the Elizabethtown College Blue Jays in a doubleheader starting at 11:00 am from Fort Pierce, Florida.

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