AUBURNDALE, FLA. -- The Trine University baseball team began its 2019 season with a two-game split against Anna Maria (Mass.) College, winning the first game, 7-6, but falling to the AMCATS in game two, 4-3.
In game one, Trine (1-1) scored its first runs in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI-single by senior Jacob Heller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Prairie Heights) and a RBI-triple by junior Thomas Rivet (Howell, Mich./Hartland). The Thunder added to thier lead with two more runs in the third on a two-run single by junior Shayne Devine (Valparaiso, Ind./Portage) with bases loaded to make it a 4-0 game.
Anna Maria (4-1) then got its offense going in the top of the third inning by plating three runs to narrow the gap to a run, 4-3. The AMCATS scored the game-tying run in the fourth on a single with a runner on third base to even the score at 4-4. But Trine answered in its bottom half of the inning with a run-scoring double by junior Jake Roddy (Angola, Ind./Angola) and RBI-base hits by seniors Cale Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans) and Stevie Sieczkowski (Norwich, Conn./Norwich Technical) to regain the lead with a 7-4 advantage.
The AMCATS got two of the runs back in the sixth to pull to within a run, 7-6. After a scoreless bottom of the sixth by Trine, the Thunder defense recorded three straight outs in the top of the seventh to seal the one-run victory.
As a team, Trine finished with 13 hits in game one with two players going perfect at the plate highlighted by a four-for-four effort by Rivet sho also scored a pair of runs and had a RBI. Junior Chase Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans) went three-of-three and had a RBI. Devine rounded out the multi-hit performances with two hits in four at-bats to go along with a run scored and two RBI.
On the mound, sophomore Adam Wheaton (Kalamazoo, Mich./Hackett Catholic Prep) got the start and went four and two-thirds innings allowing four runs, two earned, on eight hits and struck out six batters. Sophomore Kyle Robinson (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) pitched an inning of relief and ended up as the pitcher of record to claim the win. He gave up two runs, one earned.
Junior Caleb Deiter (Whiteland, Ind./Whiteland Community) finished the game and was credited with a save after pitching one-and-a-third innings allowing no runs and just one hit to go along with one strikeout.
In game two, Anna Maria grabbed the early lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning and then two more runs in the second for a 3-0 advantage. Trine chipped into the deficit with a run in the top of the third inning on a sacrifice fly by Rivet with bases loaded to make the score, 3-1.
The AMCATS added an insurance run in the fifth, but the Thunder looked to rally with a two-run sixth inning that included a bases loaded walk by junior Nick Ricci (Hebron, Ind./Crown Point) and a run-scoring wild pitch later in the frame to make it a 4-3 game.
But those would be the final runs scored by either team the rest of the way as Anna Maria hung on for the 4-3 final to get the split.
Trine finished with four hits in the game by four different players. Rivet would go hitless in the game, but would finish with an RBI, while Ricci finished one-of-two at the plate to go along with a RBI. Sieczkowski and Heller combined to score the three runs for Trine with two runs scored by Sieczkowski and a run by Heller. Heller also recorded a hit and went one-of-three in the nightcap.
Sophomore Conner Dove (St. Joe, Ind./Eastside) made the start in game two and lasted four-and-a-third innings, but ended up with the loss after allowing four runs on six hits and struck out three batters. Fellow sophomore Ben West (Stanton, Mich./Central Montcalm) pitched the final inning and two-thirds and allowed no runs on one hit and had two strikeouts.
Trine will head back to the diamond tomorrow (Monday, Mar. 4) with a single, nine-inning game against Bridgewater (Va.) College. The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.