Otterbein's new starting lineup put up close to 40 runs in its season opener doubleheader at UC Health Stadium in Florence, Kentucky.

The Cardinals decimated a Mount St. Joseph (MSJ) pitching staff that was coming off a doubleheader against Emory & Henry in Virginia the previous day. 

Both teams starting pitchers struggled in the first inning. MSJ starter Zack Bell’s erratic play led to a wild pitch and walk that put runners on first and second with one out. 

Otterbein right fielder Sam Edgell, who led the team with three RBIs, drove in his team’s first of 22 runs in the first game with a single to right field. The Cardinals’ second run of the inning was a steal of home by first baseman Luke Barber when the opposing catcher’s throw to second base went into center field. 

          

Otterbein's hot offensive start was overshadowed by the bottom of the first inning not being kind to Otterbein starter Ethan Doty. 

A lucky bounce off the first base bag gave the Lions their first hit, and that runner later scored on a shortstop Garrett Hogan double. Catcher Michael Sundahl’s two-run homer to left field gave MSJ a 4-2 lead. 

Third baseman Brayden Carter’s single and second baseman Dmitri Collaros’ double tied the game for the Cardinals at four runs each. 

          

In the top of the third inning, Otterbein took their third lead to 7-4 thanks to Edgell’s solo home run to right field, left fielder Matthew Gibson score on an error, and shortstop Zak Repar's steal of home.  

Bell, who received the loss, was replaced after throwing 3 1/3 innings, allowing 10 hits and 10 runs (eight earned), walking four, and striking out four. 

The Lions’ last strong response, in the bottom of the third inning, was a first baseman Roman Rothwell homer to left field before Hogan scored on an error to make the game 7-6. 

Doty, who got the win, pitched four innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on six hits, walking one, and striking out four.  

The mercy rule cut the first game short to seven innings after the Cardinals took over the game from the fourth inning on, scoring at least two runs in every inning.

As Otterbein relievers Chris Sparks and Zach Beatty closed the first game of the spring, combining with six strikeouts and only one earned run over the last three innings. 

Game two began much differently than the first with a slower start from both team’s lineups. 

Although the Cardinals did not score as many runs early in the second game, they still scored in five of the first six innings. 

Edgell continued to be critical to the teams offense by starting the scoring using an RBI groundout in the first inning. 

Barber, who led Otterbein with four RBIs, hit a solo homer to center in the third inning to keep the pressure on MSJ starter Brandon Shelton. 

After giving up one more run in the fourth inning, Shelton was removed in the fifth inning following designated hitter Will Johnson’s two-run homer to left field that increased Otterbein’s lead to 5-0. Shelton was handed the loss for allowing five earned runs on eight hits in four innings.  

On the other side, Cardinals starter Travis Engard tossed four scoreless innings and struck out five. 

Nick Meyer followed Engard, and struck out four batters in 1.1 innings, despite allowing three runs in the sixth inning. Those three runs that made the score 12-3 allowed MSJ to avoid the mercy rule that calls the game after seven innings if a team leads by 10 runs.  

The Cardinals kept piling on in the middle innings as reliever Colin Hoffmann began his 3 2/3 innings of one-hit baseball to close out the 15-3 victory in game two.  Hoffmann recorded the win for the Cardinals.

Otterbein baseball will travel to Florida and play 10 games over spring break from February 29 to March 8.