The Oberlin Review
<< Front page Sports April 20, 2007

Baseball Prepares for Crunch Weekend

After losing a full week of play due to poor weather, Oberlin baseball was finally able to hit the diamond and finished the week with a 1-3 record.

The Yeomen split a doubleheader at division rival Kenyon College and lost both games at Case Western Reserve University in a non-division match-up. The Kenyon doubleheader was the first of a pair that the Yeomen are going to make up. The second will be made up on May 2.

Kenyon scored four runs in the fifth inning with an impressive two-out rally after first-year pitcher Jack Dunn had struck out the first two batters of the inning.

Senior Rick Betzel brought the Yeomen back in the next frame with a two-run single, but that was all the Yeomen offense could manage in the loss as Oberlin fell 5-2.

In the second game, Oberlin’s offense was held quiet through the first three innings. The Yeomen then used a balanced attack that saw seven men score runs, including two by first-year Zach Berman and four men drive in five earned runs, including two by Betzel to take the game 8-4.

The Yeomen could not carry their winning momentum into the doubleheader against Case Western on Wednesday: they dropped both games to its non-conference opponent, 2-3 and 2-5. The losses brought the Yeomen to 11-17 overall, but most of the losses have come from Oberlin playing teams out of their division.

With the split against Kenyon, the Yeomen stand at 5-5 in the North Coast Athletic Conference and second place in the NCAC East. Allegheny are in third in the NCAC East with a 2-4 record.

This weekend will be pivotal for the Yeomen as they host Allegheny for four games. Oberlin could finish the weekend at three games ahead or behind Allegheny with just four conference games to play.

In other words, with a sweep, the Yeomen would basically be assured of a playoff berth, as it would eliminate both Allegheny and Hiram from contention. Only Kenyon would still be mathematically alive if Oberlin could sweep, but Oberlin’s magic number for clinching would be two games with six to play.

However, if Oberlin gets swept, they would need a lot of help to make the playoffs. Going .500 the rest of conference play would give the Yeomen a fairly decent chance of a playoff berth, but it would depend on how other teams fare.

Oberlin goes up against Allegheny at home this weekend to hopefully secure the two-seed in the NCAC East and a date with the playoffs. The Yeomen play at 1 p.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. on Sunday.


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