by Alan Babbitt
Pitcher Sean Hoey didn't let his Hope College baseball teammates stand too long in the field on a chilly Friday afternoon at Boeve Stadium.
The sophomore from Holland, Michigan (West Ottawa HS) worked fast — yet effectively — and propelled the Flying Dutchmen to a 5-0 victory against Trine University in Game 1 of a doubleheader.
No. 23-ranked Hope went on to take Game 2, 4-3 in 11 innings, and raise its record to 25-1 overall and 15-1 in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association standings. The Flying Dutchmen lead second-place Adrian College (15-3 MIAA) after Adrian split a Friday doubleheader with third-place Albion College.
Hoey, pictured, who threw 106 pitches, hurled his complete-game shutout of his career and his first this season. He is now 4-0 on the season.
The right-hander struck out nine while allowing three Trine base hits and three other base runners.
"Sean was as good as he's been in a Hope uniform today," head coach Stu Fritz said. "Our players love that he does work so quickly."
The Flying Dutchmen, who now have won 16 games in a row, supported Hoey offensively with a 3-0 lead after two innings.
In the second, first baseman Ted Eppinga of Saline, Michigan (Saline) and Fairchild extended Hope's lead with RBI singles that scored designated hitter Nick Lepore of Clinton Township, Michigan and third baseman Joey Merucci of Northville Township, Michigan (Detroit Catholic Central), respectively.
Fairchild added a two-run single in the fourth that brought home left fielder Jack Sojka of Glen Ellyn, Illinois (Glenbard West) and Merucci with unearned runs.