The Hillsdale College baseball team took a giant step towards the GLIAC Tournament, and set a couple of significant records in the process.
The Chargers took both ends of a GLIAC doubleheader at home Saturday, defeating Lake Erie College 14-1 and 13-5 at Simpson Field. The wins made Hillsdale 23-23 overall and 16-14 in the GLIAC.
The teams wrap up their four-game series in Painesville, Ohio Sunday.
Thanks to Tiffin's two wins over Ohio Dominican, the Chargers vaulted into sixth place in the conference standings with two games to play. The top six teams qualify for the GLIAC Tournament.
If Hillsdale finishes the weekend two games up on ODU – which it is right now – the team will qualify for the conference tournament for the second year in a row.
The Chargers helped themselves thanks to some great performances from some of their most reliable players.
Junior pitcher Will Kruse went the distance in the opener, throwing all seven innings with one walk and one run allowed. He struck out five batters, which gives him a single-season school record of 79 this year. Kruse broke a record that had stood since 1995 and was set by Andy Adams. Kruse's ninth win also puts him at No. 2 on the school's single-season pitching wins list, one behind the leader.
Sophomore catcher Steven Ring also wrote himself into the record books, in the most emphatic way possible. He hammered two grand slam home runs, which was by itself, a first in school history, but his second blast was his 16th of the season, breaking a record set by Brian Buckley in 1987.
Ring hit his grand slams in back-to-back at bats in the fourth and fifth innings. Add to that an RBI groundout he had in the second inning, he drove in a single-game school record nine runs in the game one victory.
Leadoff hitter Colin Hites was 2-for-3 with four runs scored, and sophomore Colin Boerst went 2-for-2 with two walks, three runs scored and two batted in. Dylan Lottinville added a pair of hits, a run batted in and a run scored.
In game two, Hillsdale used more offensive fireworks to grab a big early lead. The Chargers scored three runs in the first inning, five in the third and four more in the fourth to take quick command.
Each of the top five batters in the order – Hites, Boerst, Ring, Ethan Wiskur and Michael Mitchell – each had two hits in the nightcap. Boerst and Ring drove in three runs apiece, and four of those five batters had doubles, two off the bat of Wiskur.