TOLEDO, Ohio – Two more close ballgames slipped away from the Goshen College baseball team who continues to compete well despite few results early in the year under first-year skipper Alex Childers.
On Friday, the Maple Leafs dropped a double-header to host Lourdes by 3-1 and 6-5 counts, their seventh and eighth defeats of the season by three runs or less, including five which have been decided by a single run.
Goshen took the lead early in the opener at Mercy Field in games originally scheduled for two days earlier. Freshman Jesse Quintanilla led off the game with a walk and after a fielder's choice and Caleb Yoder single, a two-out error by the Gray Wolves plated the game's opening run.
The hosts immediately responded in the bottom half, though, using an RBI triple by John Crooks to knot the game at 1-1. After Goshen stranded a pair of runners in the top of the second, Lourdes made them pay. They rallied for two runs on three hits and a Maple Leaf error in the bottom of the second inning for a 3-1 advantage.
Both starters settled in from there. The Maple Leafs pounded out 12 hits, but could not again get a run across home plate. They stranded at least one runner in all seven innings, including leaving the based loaded in the fourth.
Quintanilla had three of those hits, while Benjamin Kelly and Jeremy Wiebe each had two. Spencer Oversen went the distance on the mound, allowing seven hits and two earned runs, while striking out six. Drew Lepiarz earned the win for Lourdes with seven strike outs in six innings of work, while Crooks led the offense with a 2-for-3 game.
The Leafs took the early lead again in the nightcap. This time they took advantage of some shaky pitching in the first. Two walks and two hit batters opened the door for a three-run rally capped by a two-run single by freshman Brandon Wright.
Up 3-0 after a half inning, Goshen could not hold on to its early cushion. The Gray Wolves rallied for three hits, two hit batters and a walk in the bottom of the frame and went up 4-3 after one complete.
Lourdes added a single run in the second and Goshen was only able to manage two hits the rest of the way in falling one run short (5-4). Senior Corey Johnson had two of the Leafs' three hits in the game, while Lourdes also struggled offensively with only two hits after the first inning.
The Maple Leafs (1-10) are back in action on Sunday. They will face off against Cardinal Stritch University in a double-header at 2 p.m. at Coveleski Stadium in South Bend.