Angola, Ind. – Trine baseball swept Hope in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association doubleheader Friday afternoon at Jannen Field.
Trine earned the sweep in the doubleheader with the bats cracking in both games. The Thunder out hit Hope by a margin of 38 to 18. Robert Ross (Valparaiso, Ind. / Washington Township) put on hitting clinic to lead the Thunder's offensive attack with his two homeruns and eight RBIs. Ross now holds the team's record of most RBIs in a game with eight in game one. Kevin O'Malley (Commerce Township, Mich. / Walled Lake Central) contributed to the offense with three doubles and six RBIs.
Chase Hall (Orleans, Ind. / Orleans) added five RBIs to the offense's parade in both games. Jake LaBounty (Avon, Ind. / Covenant Christian) and Nick Ricci (Hebron, Ind. / Crown Point) hit their first career homeruns. LaBounty's was a three-run dinger to left field and Ricci's being a two-run shot to left.
Trine is now 16-11 overall and 10-8 in the MIAA. Hope is 17-10 overall, 10-8 in conference play.
Game One: Trine 22, Hope 2
Wheaton had two strikeouts, three walks and while only allowing two runs in 6.2 innings of work on the mound. He improves his record to 4-1
Eric Plaehn is credited with the loss for Hope and drops his record to 5-2.
The Thunder drew first blood in the opening inning going up 4-0 over Hope. Colton Conn (Cincinnati, Ohio / Indian Hill) crossed home plate from third on the throw down to second by Hope's catcher. LaBounty hit deep over the left field fence for a three-run shot as his first career homerun.
Trine added another six runs to its score in the bottom of the second inning, taking a dominating lead over the Flying Dutch, 10-0. Conn and Jacob Heller (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Prairie Heights) started the inning off first by each hitting an infield base hit for an RBI. Ross hit his second career homerun for a three-run dinger to left field. O'Malley capped the inning with an RBI double.
Mason Opple was able to get the Flying Dutch on the board in the top of the third when he hit an RBI double to right-center field.
The Thunder went right back to work in the bottom of the third extending its lead to 14-0 over Hope. Chris Frantz (Niles, Mich. / Niles) started things off with an RBI sac fly to center field. Drew Palmer (Hartford, Wisc. / Hartford Union) followed up with an RBI single. Ross closed the out the inning with his second homerun of the game for a two-run shot to left field.
Trine continued to display its hitting efficiency when Ross hit a three run-double in the bottom of the fourth. O'Malley hit his second double driving in one run to advance Trine's lead to 20-1 over the Flying Dutch. Zachary Schulte (Sterling Heights, Mich. / Warren Cousino) capped the inning with an RBI ground out.
Chase Mahoy (Darlington, Ind. / North Montgomery) and Hall each had an RBI in the bottom of the sixth to increase the Thunder's lead to 22-0.
Game Two: Trine 10, Hope 5
Farrell picks up his first win of the year in 5.2 innings of work, improving his record to 1-1. He allowed five runs on nine hits, walked one and struck out four.
Caleb Dieter (Whiteland, Ind. / Whiteland Community) earned his first career save. He worked 3.1 shutout innings and struck out one.
Hope took the quick lead in the top of the second when Tanner Gilmore hit a two-run homer to left-center field.
The Thunder answer back in the bottom of the second generating four runs to take the lead 4-2. O'Malley hit a RBI double to start things off, then Hall hit a double into the gap of left and center field for three RBIs.
O'Malley hit an RBI single in the bottom of the third to give Trine a 5-2 lead over Hope.
In the top of the fourth inning, Danny Carrasco hit an RBI double to cut the Thunder's lead to two.
Lepore scored another run for the Flying Dutch with his RBI double in the top of the fifth.
Hall increased Trine's lead by two when he hit an RBI double to left field in the bottom of the inning.
Hope cut the Thunder's lead to one again when Michael Barnett recorded an RBI base hit in the bottom of the sixth, 6-5.
Trine scored three insurance runs to go up 8-5, coming from Frantz scoring off a throwing error by Hope, followed by LaBounty hitting an RBI sac fly.
Ricci added a couple more insurance runs for the Thunder in the bottom of the seventh with his first career homeruns, a two-run shot to left field.
Trine returns to action Saturday, April 22, when it travels to face MIAA opponent, Hope, to close out the four-game series between the teams. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Article contributed by Cody Konieczki, Trine University '17