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Capps, Lee lead offensive outburst, Owls split twin bill

WOOSTER, Ohio — The Kenyon College Owls (16-7, 3-3 NCAC) and The College of Wooster Fighting Scots (13-11, 3-3 NCAC) baseball teams needed just 16 innings to score a combined 47 runs in Tuesday’s twin bill as all 28 of the game-one runs came in the first eight innings before game two was called in the eighth frame due to darkness. The Owls opened the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) doubleheader with a comeback, 15-13 win, while the Fighting Scots salvaged a split with their own comeback, a 10-9, eight-inning victory.

Kenyon’s 15 game-one runs tied a season-high that the team has reached two other times this year. The Owls did their damage with their bats, notching 16 hits and setting a season-high with 15 RBIs. After adding nine runs in game two, Kenyon has tallied 34 runs over their last three games.

Tripper Capps was the catalyst in game one as he hit 3-for-6 with five RBIs, two runs, two doubles, and a home run. A first-inning RBI double got the scoring started, and Capps helped Kenyon’s comeback bid with a game-tying, three-run round-tripper in the seventh inning. The senior’s five RBIs tied a season-high for an Owls hitter, a mark matched by Dustin Lee in game two. Lee went 3-for-5, including a double and a grand slam, and he scored a run while setting a career-best RBI total. The duo stayed hot in both ends of the doubleheader, as Capps was 5-for-9 overall and Lee hit 5-for-9 with seven RBIs and two dingers on the day.

The winning runs in both games came in the eighth inning. The Owls opened the day with a run in the first before going up 3-0 in the second, but Wooster flipped the script with five second-inning runs. Kenyon responded with a five spot in the fourth frame, but the Scots reclaimed the lead in the sixth inning with a grand slam. 

The back-and-forth battle continued as Capps knotted the score at 12-12 in the top of the seventh, but Wooster went ahead again in the seventh. In the eighth inning, first-year Gio Giuliani tied the game with an RBI single, and Drew Robinson launched his first home run of the season to give the Owls a 15-13 lead they would not relinquish. The blast capped a strong game for Robinson, who was 3-for-6 with three RBIs, two runs, and a stolen base. 

Jackson Yelland picked up his second win of the season after bringing stability to the mound after a rough outing for three Owls pitchers. Yelland quieted the Wooster bats, allowing just one run and four hits over 4.0 innings of relief while ringing up three strikeouts.

Game two featured five more lead changes, but the Owls were on the wrong side of a comeback after coughing up a 9-4 lead. Kenyon pulled away in the fifth frame after Lee’s grand slam turned a 4-2 deficit into a 6-4 lead, and the Owls increased their lead by three runs in the sixth inning.

Kenyon starter Jackson Niedel got bit by the long ball a few times in his 4.0 innings on the mound, but the sophomore helped keep the Owls within reach before Christian Harris came on for a strong relief appearance. Harris struck out two and allowed just two walks and one hit over his 3.0 innings.

Unfortunately for Kenyon, their bullpen could not sustain the success as things fell apart in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Fighting Scots scored six runs on four hits, three walks, two hit by pitches, and a balk, and Wooster won 10-9 after the game was called due to darkness following the home team’s go-ahead run.

The Owls have over a week before their next NCAC clash, a doubleheader at home against Oberlin College on Wednesday, April 17. Kenyon will not have to wait that long to get back on the diamond, however, as the Owls hope to bounce back against No. 22-ranked Case Western Reserve University on Saturday, April 13. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for noon in Cleveland, Ohio.

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