KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Trine baseball team split a conference doubleheader on Thursday against Kalamazoo College. The Thunder dropped game one 9-2, but bounced back to win game two, 5-4.
Trine improves to 14-9 overall this season and is 8-6 against the MIAA. Kalamazoo moves to 15-8 and is 8-6 in conference play.
Jake LaBounty (Avon, Ind./Covenant Christian) led the Thunder with four hits on the day. Drew Palmer (Hartford, Wisc./Hartford Union) notched his sixth home run of the season in game one. Palmer is tied for fourth in the Thunder record books for home runs in a season.
GAME ONE: Kalamazoo 9, Trine 2
Palmer put the Thunder on the board in the top of the first inning when he homered to left field.
The Hornets grabbed the lead back in the bottom of the second scoring five runs. Kalamazoo added two more in each of the bottom of the fourth and sixth.
The Thunder added a second run in the top of the seventh off an RBI from Robert Ross (Valparaiso, Ind./Washington Township).
LaBounty had two hits for the Thunder. Gordon Wallace (Glennie, Mich./Tawas Area) took the loss on the mound. Tony Bottone (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers) made his varsity debut coming in from the bullpen to pitch for the Thunder.
The Hornets were led by Ian Kobernick with two hits. Jack Clark drove in two runs. Ryan Orr improved to 4-1 for the season earning the win and striking out five Thunder batters in five innings.
GAME TWO: Trine 5, Kalamazoo 4
After three scoreless innings, the Thunder took a one run lead in the top of the fourth. LaBounty singled to right center and stole second. Kevin O'Malley (Commerce Township, Mich./Walled Lake Central) singled to shortstop and LaBounty advanced to third off an error by the shortstop. Zach Seder (Saginaw, Mich./Valley Lutheran) drove in LaBounty off a fielder's choice to give Trine the lead.
The Hornets tied the game in the bottom of the sixth. Orr singled through the left side and Kobernick followed with an identical single. Clark walked to load the bases. Connor Grant lined into a double play. Mitch VanKoevering singled to centerfield to drive in Orr.
In the top of the eighth with one out on the board, O'Malley singled to center. Jacob Douglas (Frankfort, Ind./Western) pinch ran for O'Malley. Seder walked to advance Douglas to second. Ross came in to pinch hit. Ross singled down the leftfield line to drive in the go-ahead run. With two outs, Jacob Heller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Prairie Heights) doubled to left to drive in two runs. Chris Frantz (Niles, Mich./Niles) singled up the middle to drive in another run to put the Thunder up 5-1.
In the bottom of the ninth, Kobernick drove in two runs with a double to left center. Clark drove in another run to put the Hornets within a run of the Thunder, but Trine held off Kalamazoo for the win.
Heller went two-for-four at the plate with two RBI, while Frantz went three-for-four driving in one run. LaBounty and O'Malley each notched two hits.
Ben Wheaton (Kalamazoo, Mich./Hackett Catholic Central) started the game going six and one third innings giving up one run. Jacob Stauffer (Elkhart, Ind./Concord) picked up his third win of the season coming out of the bullpen to pitch two and one third innings. Andy Farrell (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio/St. Vincent St. Mary) earned his third save of the season.
David Kracht led the Hornets with three hits. Kobernick added two hits and drove in two runs. VanKoevering and Orr each added two hits. Aaron Schward went six and two thirds innings to start for the Hornets. Jack Taggett took the loss.
The Thunder will complete its series against Kalamazoo on Saturday at Jannen Field. The doubleheader beings at 1 p.m.