ANGOLA, IND. -- The Trine University baseball team captured a pair of victories in two nine-inning games against Ohio Northern University and St. Francis (Ind.) University at Jannen Field in Angola, Ind. The Thunder defeated the Polar Bears, 2-1, in the first game of the afternoon and then defeated the Cougars, 7-6, in walk-off fashion in game two.
Against ONU, Trine (7-5) took the early lead with a run in the bottom of the second inning that was the result of a run-scoring base hit by senior Cale Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans).
The lead remained at a run for the Thunder until the top of the fourth inning when ONU (7-7) platted a run to even the game at 1-1.
The difference maker came in the seventh inning when Trine scored the go-ahead and what turned out to be the winning run on a fielding error that allowed junior Chase Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans) to score from third base.
ONU got a base runner in both the top of the eighth and ninth innings, including having a runner in scoring position in the ninth, but Trine's defense prevented any runs from scoring to preserve the 2-1 victory.
Trine finished the game with five total hits with Cale Hall being the lone Thunder player to record multiple hits. He finished two-of-four overall and had a RBI. Chase Hall added a run scored to his base hit in game one, while sophomore Shayne Devine (Valparaiso, Ind./Portage) scored the other run for Trine and sophomore Joe Fiorucci (St. Joseph, Mich./St. Joseph) had the team's second RBI.
On the mound, sophomore Adam Wheaton (Kalamazoo, Mich./Hackett Catholic Prep) got the start and pitched three innings allowing no runs and just two hits while striking out four batters in a no decision. Sophomore Conner Dove (St. Joe, Ind./Eastside) ended up as the pitcher of record and got the win after pitching two innings and allowed no runs and just one hit in addition to two strikeouts. Junior Caleb Deiter (Whiteland, Ind./Whiteland Community) was given a save after recording the final two outs of the game, including one of those outs coming via a strikeout.
In the game against St. Francis, Trine struck for three runs in the bottom of the first inning on RBI-singles by juniors Thomas Rivet (Howell, Mich./Hartland), Jake Roddy (Angola, Ind./Angola) and then another run on a double play with runners on first and third to lead, 3-0.
St. Francis (9-16) chipped away the deficit with a run in the top of the second and another run in the third to make it a 3-2 ball game. The Cougars then scored the game-tying run in the fifth on a double, but the Thunder answered in their half of the inning with two runs thanks to a fielder's choice that allowed Fiorucci to score from third base and then a RBI-double by Devine to put the home team back out in front, 5-3.
In the top of the seventh, St. Francis tallied three runs to take the lead, highlighted by a two-run homerun, and made the score 6-5. Cale Hall and Chase Hall put a run on the board for Trine in the eighth with back-to-back doubles that ended up in Cale Hall scoring the game-tying run to deadlock the teams at 8-8.
Following a scoreless top of the ninth inning by the Cougars, Trine began the bottom of the frame with a lead-off walk by Rivet who then advanced to second during the ensuing at-bat on a sacrifice bunt to move into scoring position. Two batters later, that included an intentional walk by Devine, Cale Hall found space in center field that allowed Rivet to plate the game-winning run for a final score of 7-6.
The two teams combined for 25 hits with the Trine bats totaling 12 of those hits. Cale Hall finished with a game-tying high three base knocks in four attempts to go along with a run scored and RBI. Senior Jacob Heller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Prairie Heights), Rivet and Devine all recorded a pair of hits with Heller going two-of-three in addition to a run scored. Rivet and Devine both went two-of-four at the plate with Rivet scoring three runs and a RBI, while Devine added a RBI.
A total of seven pitchers saw playing time for Trine with junior Shawn Ligocki (West Chicago, Ill./St. Charles East) getting the start. Ligocki pitched three full innings and gave up two runs on four hits to go along with a pair of strikeouts in a no decision. Deiter made a second appearance on the day and would end up with the win after pitching the final two-thirds of an inning which both outs he recorded being strikeouts.
Trine is scheduled to begin a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association four-game series against Calvin (Mich.) College beginning on Thursday, Mar. 28 with a home doubleheader at Jannen Field. The first game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.