Mount St. Joseph was coming off of a weekend series win against Franklin when they took the field against Earlham on Tuesday. A win would put the Lions in the top four in the HCAC and squarely in the mix to make the conference tournament at the end of the year.
The Lions would send lefty Mike Hilliard (Loveland, OH / Clinton Massie) to the hill to face off against the Quakers. He would not have his best stuff on Tuesday night and would not make it out of the first inning. Malik Zuberi (Cincinnati, OH / Lakota West) would come in early in relief to get out of the jam. When the third out was finally recorded in the first inning the Quakers had put up five runs and jumped out to a big early lead.
Zuberi would get Mount St. Joseph through the second inning before the ball was handed to Zak Farmer (Hamilton, OH / Lakota West). Farmer would work three innings, surrendering two runs but striking out seven Earlham hitters.
Ben Frizzell (Cincinnati, OH / LaSalle), Jacob Gunnell (Hamilton, OH / Fairfield), and Matt Hofmann (Cincinnati, OH / Elder) would combine to throw the remaining four innings against Earlham, giving up zero runs and keeping the Lions in the game.
The Lions would fight back early against Earlham, scoring six runs of their own in the bottom of the second inning and tying the game at 6-6. Four of those were off of a Matt Hofmann grand slam to tie the game up at six.
After that, the offense would fall silent, scoring only one more time for the rest of game. Although they had chances late, Mount St. Joseph just could not find a way to push a run across the plate to tie the game. When the final out was recorded, Mount St. Joseph found themselves on the wrong side of an 8-7 score, dropping the game to Earlham.
LION AT THE PEAK
Matt Hofmann went 1-5 on the day for Mount St. Joseph but his one hit was a big one. Hofmann tallied four RBIs on Tuesday, and all of them came off of a big grand slam to tie the game in the second inning. He also pitched a scoreless ninth inning, striking out the side.
The Lions travel to Hanover this weekend to play three games against the Panthers. The first game of the series is scheduled for 4:00 PM on Friday afternoon. Saturday features a doubleheader with game one beginning at 12:00 PM with game two starting directly after the conclusion of game one.