BEXLEY, Ohio — The Kenyon College Owls baseball team played five games over the last four days. In that span, the team’s offense averaged 13.6 hits and 11.6 runs per game. Those averages included Wednesday’s 15-10 non-conference victory at Capital University.
Against the host Comets, Kenyon’s run production was generated from 16 hits, seven walks, four hit-by-pitches, and three stolen bases.
The victory has the Owls off to a 12-5 start to the season. That’s one game better than last season, when the Owls were at 11-6 through their first 17 games. In the other dugout, the loss dropped Capital to 4-10.
Despite the final score and impressive offensive numbers, things got off to a bit of a rocky start Wednesday, as the Owls yielded four runs to the Comets in the first inning of play. Capital started the game with two singles, a walk, and a double.
Undaunted, the Kenyon offense responded with a four-run second inning. Niko Price and Ben Zimmerman ripped run-scoring doubles, Nate Rosen added an RBI single, and Drew Robinson knotted the game at 4-4 with a sacrifice fly.
One inning later, Kenyon took its first lead, scoring two more runs. With the bases loaded, Ben Nash singled home one run and, later, Zimmerman tacked on another sacrifice fly.
That made way for a four-run fourth inning in which the Owls took command of the game with a 10-4 lead. Big hits in that inning came from Robinson, who tripled, and from Malcolm Gaynor and Edwin Groff, who both smacked singles. The Owls were aided in the frame by a walk, an error, and a hit-by-pitch.
The Comets, trailing 11-5 after five innings, didn’t throw in the towel. They scored three in the sixth and two more in the eighth to make it a 12-10 contest going into the final inning.
Again, the Kenyon bats had a response, generating three runs in the top of the ninth to help secure the five-run victory. Gaynor and Groff tagged clutch RBI singles and Ben Gimbel added the Owls’ fourth sacrifice fly of the game.
Gaynor led the Kenyon hit parade, going 4-for-5 with three runs scored and two RBI. Groff, who leads the team with a remarkable .484 batting average, went 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI, while Robinson and Nash each contributed two hits.
As a team, Kenyon hit .410 (16-of-39) against the Comets and raised its team season batting average to .354.
On the mound, both teams decided on bullpen games. Kenyon used eight different arms, with Jake Davidson collecting the win. He notched five outs in relief, giving up just one hit and one walk, while striking out three.
Capital used nine pitchers with Ethan Pollack taking the loss.
Looking ahead, Kenyon gets its North Coast Athletic Conference schedule started Saturday with a home doubleheader against Ohio Wesleyan University. Game one is slated for a noon start.