NKU baseball dismantles UC-Clermont in home opener

The Northern Kentucky University baseball team combined for seven home runs in an 18-2 home-opening shellacking of UC-Clermont on Monday afternoon.

Anthony Vagnier launched a pair of homers, while Cody Kuzniczci, Mike Moffatt, Cole Bauml, Conor Ledger, and Quint Heady each deposited one of their own in the slugfest.

UC-Clermont (2-4) took an early 1-0 lead on an RBI-single by Jay Schunk in the top of the first inning. NKU (4-12) responded in the bottom half of the inning, as Kuzniczci hit a towering two-run home run to left field to put the Norse on top, 2-1.

In the second inning, Moffatt, a freshman who only recorded three at-bats going into the game, belted one over the fence in left-center for his first collegiate hit, giving the Norse a 3-1 lead.

UC-Clermont chipped away in the third inning on a Nick King RBI-single to cut the differential to one. However, NKU got the run right back later in the inning, as Bauml hit his team-leading fourth home run of the year, extending his hitting streak to 26 games dating back to last season. The Norse played add-on that same inning by scoring two more runs, which grew the lead to four.

NKU opened the floodgates in the fifth and sixth inning, scoring four runs on a couple of UC-Clermont miscues to make it 10-2.

Despite the large lead and the starters being taken out of the game, the Norse offense wasn’t done just yet.

Ledger and Vagnier came off the bench and joined in on the home run barrage, hitting a pair of two-run home runs in the seventh inning. Vagnier’s was a tape-measure shot, nearly shattering a car’s windshield in the parking lot out in left field. The score was now 14-2 in favor of the Norse, and the route was officially on.

NKU scored four more runs in the eighth, as Heady and Vagnier hit back-to-back home runs to make it 18-2, which ended up to be the final score. The Norse scored in every inning except for the fourth.

Prior to the game, the Norse as a team hit a total of six home runs. They more than doubled that with seven in today’s offensive outburst.

Trey Ganns was the starting pitcher and picked up the win. He went three innings, allowing two runs on four hits with one walk and two strikeouts. The bullpen shut it down after that, as they combined for six shutout innings.

The Norse will travel to Dayton, Ohio, on Wednesday to take on Wright State in their next game. NKU returns home the following day and will host Miami-Hamilton. The first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.