The Calvin Baseball team started its season with two wins as they took down the University of Chicago and Wheaton College at Pfund Stadium Friday evening.
In their first matchup at Pfund Stadium the Knights faced the University of Chicago. Both teams struggled to put runs up early, but Calvin broke through first. Andrew Ballenger (Columbus, OH / Cuyahoga CC) got the first RBI of the season for the Knights and put up them up 1-0 in the 4th. The Maroons answered back in the bottom of the 5th to make it a 1-1 game heading to the 6th inning.
Both teams were held scoreless the next two innings and we were tied heading into the 9th. Calvin had the bases loaded with one out and Caden Penn hit (Macomb, MI / Lutheran North) a sac fly to put them up one. The next at bat, Ricky Padilla (Poway, CA / Poway) hit a double to left center and score two more runs for the Knights giving them a 4-1 lead.
Chicago put one more up in the bottom of the 9th, but senior Trevor VanDuyn (Jenison, MI / Jenison) closed the game out strong for Calvin, giving the Knights their first win of the season. VanDuyn pitched a great game as he allowed four hits and had three strikeouts to get the win. Padilla finished with two RBIs while Penn and Nick Vogel each had two hits.
The second game of the day had the Knights going up against Wheaton College. Calvin got the scoring going early in the 1st inning. Matt Raymond (Chicago, IL / Loyola Academy) had a triple to center with two men on and both scored to give Calvin a 2-0 lead.
They weren't finished yet as Andrew Hung (Waterford, MI / Waterford Mott) singled to center field to score another run. With two on again for the Knights, Nick Vogel (Hartford, WI / Hartford) stepped up to the plate and hit a home run to left to extend the lead to 6-0 after one inning of play.
The Thunder tried to get back in the game but struggled to put runs on the board. Senior Mark Primus (Grand Rapids, MI / Grand Rapids Christian) pitched well for the Knights in his six innings while Henry Breems (Grand Rapids, MI / Grand Rapids Christian) and Jake Monroe (Grandville, MI / Grandville) closed out the Thunder to get the Knights an 8-4 win. Raymond had two RBI while Vogel finished with a home run and three RBI.
COACHES COMMENTS: "We started the day with adversity due to bus trouble," said Calvin head baseball coach Kevin VanDuyn. "We went through three buses before we could finally arrive at Wheaton but our guys were resilient and didn't let that shake their focus. We had great pitching in both games. In the opener, Trevor had only 78 pitches going into the 9th inning so that put us in a good place to start. Then we got a good start from Mark Primus in the second game and outstanding relief pitching from Henry Breems and Jake Monroe to finish it off.
We wanted to start strong and end strong and we did that the whole night. Good way to start the season. These are two very good teams that we played tonight. They have won over 90 games combined the last five years. We knew the weekend was going to be a challenge. We're happy to start with two victories but the weekend is not over. It's back to work tomorrow."
UP NEXT: Calvin will take on Chicago at 2pm CST and Wheaton at 5pm CST on Saturday afternoon.