The Goshen College baseball team continued a battle with injuries against Davenport University on Thursday as Sean Doering was hit in the face with a pitch during his at-bat in the first inning.

“It was a curve ball that didn’t break,” said Doering, a sophomore. “I went back to the training room and noticed my nose was bleeding. When I started feeling lightheaded and dizzy, they sent me to the hospital for X-rays.”

X-rays showed that Doering had injured two bones in his nose and cheek, sidelining him for the next week and the start of Mid-Central Conference play.

After taking out Doering, the Panthers crossed home plate first, scoring a run off of starting pitcher Shane Kurtz, a junior, in the top of the first inning. The Maple Leafs answered right back with two runs to take the lead 2-1 in the bottom of the first inning. The Panthers scored two runs in both the second and third innings to jump out to an early 5-2 lead.

“We struggled early in the game with some errors and walks,” said Maple Leafs Coach Josh Keister. “After the first couple innings we played pretty well, although we couldn’t quite get enough going offensively.”

The Leafs plated two more runs in the fifth inning, making the score 5-4 going into the sixth inning. Kurtz – who gave up five runs over as many innings – was relieved by Jason Crocker, a first year. Crocker gave up one run over three innings.

Aaron Coy, a junior, finished the game on the mound for the Leafs, which ended in a 6-4 loss.

Despite the loss, Keister took a positive message from the game. “Davenport is a very good team with a good record, so it is good to see that we can compete against a talented team,” Keister said.

“The team is excited to start conference play because although we have struggled so far, we get to start fresh with a 0-0 conference record,” Keister said. “The M.C.C. looks to be very good this year, so we will have to battle for everything we get.”

The Maple Leafs have played six games since the game against Davenport University, and now hold a record of 5-22 overall. Mid-Central Conference play will begin on Thursday with a doubleheader scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at Bethel College in Mishawaka.