Kamden Earley ’25 takes a swing against Ohio Wesleyan University on April 19, 2022, at Goodrich Ballpark. Courtesy of Communications and Marketing.

For seven days in southwest Florida, the Little Giants baseball team brought the heat to the Suncoast.

Powered by an offensive onslaught and dominant starting pitching, Wabash went 6-2 against a series of non-conference opponents including Misericordia University, Swarthmore College, Lebanon Valley College, Kean University, Saint John’s University and Western Connecticut State.

The squad got off to a slow start on Sunday, March 5, in Port Charlotte, losing both games of a double-header against Misericordia by final scores of 3-8 and 2-5. The matchups were the closest games Wabash would play all week, and from there they didn’t look back, racking up 23 runs in a win against Swarthmore the next day and a total of 60 runs over their next five games. Perhaps aware of the nor’easter bearing down on their home campuses, Wabash’s opponents averaged only six runs per game compared to the Little Giants eleven.

“It was a great week in Florida—we faced some really good competition,” said Head Baseball Coach Jake Martin. “I thought the guys did a nice job of playing solid baseball all week long. From a pitching standpoint, we were really good. Defense was strong all week and the bats came alive in several of the games.”

The story of Wednesday’s win against Kean was Caleb Everson’s ’26 electric pitching performance. In eight innings pitched, Everson gave up just four hits, struck out seven and allowed zero earned runs. The start earned him NCAC Pitcher of the Week honors for the second time this season, the first one having come the week of February 19.

“It feels great to have contributed to the team in a positive way,” said Everson. “Our team has been working hard all year, and it‘s nice to see W‘s early. I think all of us are proud of the way we bounced back after a rough start. We didn‘t get discouraged after two losses to a good team, and then played some really good baseball the rest of the week.” 

“Caleb is really competitive,” said Martin. “The moment wasn’t too big for him. He throws a lot of strikes and can throw multiple pitches for strikes. He doesn’t look like a freshman out there.”

Everson was not the only Little Giant starter to deliver on the mound. In Friday’s matchup against Saint Johns, Grant Stratton ’25 went seven innings giving up two runs and striking out six. Derek Haslett ’23 bounced back from a rough outing against Misericordia by pitching five innings of two-run ball against Western Connecticut.

On offense, the power bats of A.J. Reid ’24 and Kamden Earley ’25 proved a formidable duo in the top third of the order. During the seven-game stretch, Reid hit .471 while driving in eight runs and homering twice. Earley was similarly impressive, reaching base in 18 of his 30 at bats and playing flawless defense in right. Catcher Liam Patton ’23 recorded hits in all six of his starts, raising his season batting average to .442.

From top to bottom, the Little Giants lineup offered little relief for opposing pitchers. Batting seventh against Saint Johns, shortstop Benjamin Henke ’26 delivered a four-hit game while scoring two and driving in two more. After a slow start to the season, the Jasper native has raised his season average to .340 and caught the attention of Coach Martin. 

“He’s another one that, when you watch him play, looks like a veteran,” said Martin. “He looks like he’s been a part of the program for a while. That consistency and confidence is really what stands out about his play so far this season.”

The Little Giants won all three contests they played at Terry Park in Fort Myers, a designated National Historic Site that once played host to Major League legends Babe Ruth, Roberto Clemente and Ty Cobb.

Looking ahead to this weekend, the Little Giants will travel to Hanover for three games. Wabash has lost just twice to Hanover since the turn of the century, with their most recent loss coming in 2019. Reid and Patton shined against the Panthers in their matchups last season and will look to build on that success this weekend.