by Cole Arndorfer / April 25, 2022
It was a big weekend for baseball and softball on the campus of Hannibal-LaGrange University as both teams held Senior Day at their respective games on Saturday afternoon honoring their graduating player’s commitment and accomplishments with the programs.
Baseball Senior Day was held before an AMC Conference doubleheader between HLGU and Harris-Stowe State University. Eight seniors were honored as Seong Bin Hur, Drew Forney, Isaak Hays, Nathan Huston, Mason Jones, Braden Lawson, Jake Meininger, and Caleb Scott were called out one-by-one along with anecdotes about their careers and experiences while at HLGU.
Along with Senior Day was a special tribute to the Trojan’s head coach, Ben Strother. Strother is stepping down at the end of the season after serving seven years as the head coach.
All but one player was escorted by family members as Bin Hur is from South Korea and his family could not make it to Hannibal for the event. He was escorted by teammates Cole Trautman and Isaiah Hoelscher.
As each player’s name was read, they were given the opportunity to give handshakes and hugs to all of their teammates as they were wished congratulations.
As for the games, they did not go exactly according to plan. The Trojans dropped a heartbreaker in game one losing 5-4 after allowing the go-ahead run to score in the top of the seventh inning. Chase Holder had a standout game at the plate in game one going 2-3 with two doubles and a walk.
HLGU kept it a close game most of the way in game two after clawing back from an early deficit by way of smaller innings with a couple runs and a big seventh innings with four runs scored. Unfortunately, the Trojans also allowed a big inning in the top of the ninth where Harris-Stowe scored six runs to make it a 17-9 ballgame which proved to be insurmountable for HLGU in the bottom half of the inning. Isaak Hays went 3-5 in the game with a double and five RBI.
The Trojans were victorious however in the third and final game of the series. The team used three big innings in the bottom halves of the third, fourth, and fifth innings and played nearly mistake-free defense to take a win 14-11 over the Hornets. Tucker Hughes had a monster day going 3-5 with a double, and a triple while driving in seven runs.
Speaking on the series as a whole, Coach Strother said, “We have had to battle through a lot of adversity up to this point of the season. It was good to see our boys still battling to get a win at the end of this series.”
For the softball team, Senior Day was held at the conclusion of their AMC Conference double header with the twenty-first ranked team in the country, Columbia College. Softball had two graduates to celebrate in Sicily Johnston and Peyton Bray.
Johnston was escorted by her grandparents and Bray was escorted by her parents and husband. After the celebration and pictures were taken, their teammates rushed to give both of them congratulatory hugs and handshakes.
The Cougars offense proved that there is a reason for them to be undefeated in conference play and nationally ranked as they won both games by scores of 9-0 and 6-0. Columbia’s pitching and defense was not letting anything through for the Trojans as they allowed just three total hits and zero errors between the two games.
After the games, head softball coach Dan Hurst, said, “We did not hit well enough today to stay with them. They are undefeated in conference for a reason.”
As the season winds down, baseball will be playing its last Tuesday doubleheader on April 26 in Lincoln, Illinois against Lincoln Christian University. They will then be playing their last conference series on April 29-30 in Batesville, Arkansas against Lyon College.
Softball has their final stretch of home games of the season on April 28 where they will take on Culver-Stockton in a doubleheader, and then on April 30 when they face Iowa Wesleyan for another doubleheader.