In his only at-bat of the game, junior Colin Hites laced a three-run double down the left field line in the top of the tenth inning as the Hillsdale College baseball team broke a nine-game losing streak with a 6-3 extra-inning win over Illinois-Springfield in the first game of a road doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. Illinois-Springfield would come back to win the second game 2-1.
The Chargers (3-11) overcame a 3-1 deficit by scoring single runs in both the eighth and ninth innings to set the table for Hite's heroics.
Freshman David Toth (2-0) allowed just one hit, while ringing up four strikeouts and two walks as he pitched the final two innings for Hillsdale. Toth struck out the final two batters he faced as Illinois-Springfield stranded two runners to end the game.
Senior Will Kruse had a solid start for Hillsdale, allowing three earned runs on 10 hits over six innings. Kruse recorded eight strikeouts and walked two.
Sophomore Dante Toppi went 2-for-5 with a run and two huge stolen bases in the ninth inning that led to the game-tying run. Junior Steven Ring added two hits (including an RBI double), while senior Ryan O'Hearn also contributed two hits, an RBI, and a leaping catch over the center-field fence that robbed Illinois-Springfield's Michael Rothmund of a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning.
In the second game, Toppi blasted his first homer of the season in the fifth inning, but it wasn't enough as Illinois-Springfield scored a run in the bottom of the eighth to secure the victory.
Sophomore Andrew Verbrugge (0-4) took the hard-luck loss, as he allowed just five hits and one earned run over 7 1/3 innings. Verbrugge also registered three strikeouts and three walks.
The Chargers were only able to record three hits against Illinois-Springfield's two pitchers, as Alex Walts and Ring both had a single. Hillsdale also committed two errors, including one which led to an unearned run in the first inning for Illinois-Springfield.
The Chargers will look to get back in the win column on Sunday afternoon when they face off in another doubleheader against Illinois-Springfield beginning at 1 pm.
WORDS: Lukas Cimbal