Story by student-athlete Ryan Tillman
SEWANEE, Tenn. (March 4, 2017) — The Sewanee baseball team eclipsed their win total from a year ago by claiming victory to the first two games against the Earlham, Saturday, at historic Montgomery Field.
The Tigers now sit at 6-7 overall on the season with conference play starting next week. Earlham and Sewanee will conclude the series, Sunday.
Game One: Sewanee 6, Earlham 2
Starter Drew Mancuso continued his success on the mound by tossing a three-hit complete game. The junior faced just three batters over the minimum in his stellar performance, striking out eight hitters and surrendering just two runs on the day. Mancuso sits fourth in strikeouts among Southern Athletic Association (SAA) players with 27.
Sewanee offense was paced via the long ball in game one. Left fielder Jared Demkowicz, despite battling a thumb injury, popped a solo shot onto the University farm in the second inning. Shortstop Trey Akins tacked onto the lead in the third by pulverizing a grand slam to left center.
"I was just going up there looking for a pitch I could handle and got it," said Akins. " It was definitely a highlight in my Sewanee career."
Game Two: Sewanee 12, Earlham 11
Lead changes headlined the high-octane battle of the bats in game two. No lead was safe, despite Sewanee taking an 11-4 lead heading into the seventh inning.
A costly error from the Quakers allowed Mancuso to score after his leadoff double, pushed Sewanee back in front at 12-11 entering the final frame. With two outs and a full count on the hitter, reliever Tyler Minkkinen surrendered a long foul ball that soared over the fence. Minkkinen fought back to strike the Quaker batter on the next pitch, ending the game.
"Poole came up to me and asked what I wanted to throw. I thought he was sitting fastball, so I said curve. I located the pitch and sat him down," Minkkinen said.
Earlham was led by cleanup hitter Eric Elkus who went 2-for-5, crushing a three-run home run and recording a monstrous seven RBI at the plate. Designated hitter Cody Krumlauf and third basemen Danny Dopp also contributed with two RBI a piece.
Akins continued to dominate the opposition by smacking three doubles on the day, driving in three. Freshman Max Murray also had a solid day in the box, going 4-for-5 with two doubles. Demkowicz proved yet again he is a legitimate threat, hitting another two-run homer in the sixth. The freshman is tied for the league lead in long balls with four.