KALAMAZOO, MICH. -- The Trine University baseball team scored seven unanswered runs in game two to come away with a two-game split in the final doubleheader of a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association four-game series against Kalamazoo (Mich.) College at Woodworth Field in Kalamazoo, Mich.
After losing game one of the twinbill by four runs, Kalamazoo (5-14, 3-7 MIAA) looked to move into the driver's seat in the nightcap with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Trine (10-14, 3-9 MIAA) came back to get a run across home plate in the top of the second on a solo homerun by junior Jake Roddy (Angola, Ind./Angola) to lead off the frame.
The Hornets then added runs in the bottom of the third, fourth and sixth innings to increase the Thunder deficit to four runs, 5-1. Trine began to make its rally in the seventh with two runs that came on a defensive error with bases loaded which was then followed by a walk with junior Thomas Rivet (Howell, Mich./Hartland) at the plate to score another run and make it a 5-3 game.
Trine continued to trail by a couple of runs until the top of the ninth which began with back-to-back singles by juniors Nick Ricci (Hebron, Ind./Crown Point) and Chase Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans) before freshman Brenden Warner (Richland, Mich./Hackett Catholic Prep) drove in a run in on a double in the next at-bat. The Trine bats continued to find cracks in the KZOO defense as Rivet drove in another run during the ensuing plate appearance to even the game at 5-5. Three more hits followed the Rivet RBI that included a RBI-single by sophomore Shayne Devine (Valparaiso, Ind./Portage), a bunt attempt by senior Jacob Heller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Prairie Heights) and then a run-scoring single by Chase Hall that gave Trine its first lead of the game, 7-5. The Thunder scored the final run of the inning on a bases loaded double play before the inning ended with Trine leading, 8-5.
In the bottom half of the ninth, the Hornets got two runners on base to start the inning, but Trine then got Kalamazoo to hit into three straight outs to seal the game and go on to win by the final of 8-5.
Trine totaled 14 hits in the game with five players recording multi-hit games. Chase Hall finished with two hits in three at-bats, while the duo of Roddy and Ricci both went two-of-four. Roddy also scored a pair of runs in addition to a RBI. Heller and Chase Hall both went two-of-five at the plate and Chase Hall also drove in a run. Rivet posted a one-of-four effort with a run scored and two RBI. Warner ended the game with a hit in two attempts to go along with a run scored and RBI.
Junior Shawn Ligocki (West Chicago, Ill./St. Charles East) started the game at pitcher for Trine and pitched five-and-a-third innings in a no decision. Ligocki allowed five runs, four earned, on five hits and had one strikeout. Sophomore Kyle Robinson (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) pitched a solid two-and-a-third innings of relief allowing no runs and just two hits while striking out three batters. Junior Caleb Deiter (Whiteland, Ind./Whiteland Community) ended up with the win after pitching the final inning-and-a-third and gave up no runs or hits.
In game one, Trine took an early lead with a run in the top of the second inning that came off the bat of Chase Hall with a single that allowed Roddy to score from third base after leading off the inning with a double. But Kalamazoo quickly took over the lead with a three-run bottom of the second to make the score, 3-1.
Kalamazoo added another run in the fourth thanks to a single with runners at second and third. The Hornets went on to have bases loaded later in the inning with just one out, but an ensuing pop-up followed by a strikeout by Trine sophomore pitcher Adam Wheaton (Kalamazoo, Mich./Hackett Catholic Prep) ended the threat to limit the damage to a single run, 4-1.
Both teams swapped runs in the fifth that included another double by Roddy to plate Trine's run, but the Thunder still trailed by three runs after five innings of play, 5-2.
In the sixth inning, Trine chipped into the deficit with a run on a ground out that allowed junior Jacob Douglass (Frankfort, Ind./Western) to score from third base. Kalamazoo answered in its half of the frame with two runs of its own on a run-scoring passed ball that was followed by a RBI-triple to make the score, 7-3.
Trine got its first two batters on base to begin the top of the seventh inning on a single and a walk. The Thunder then hit into a pop-up and a game-ending double play, ending the possible comeback and gave the Hornets the four-run victory.
Trine had eight hits in game one with Roddy and sophomore Joe Fiorucci (St. Joseph, Mich./St. Joseph) both going two-of-three at the plate. Roddy also had a run scored and a RBI.
Wheaton, who started the game on the mound for Trine, pitched four-and-a-third innings and allowed five runs, one earned, on eight hits and struck out five batters. Junior Tony Bottone (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers) pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief and gave up a run on two hits. Sophomore Drew Cebulak (Oakmont, Pa./Central Catholic) pitched the final inning and allowed a run on one hit and had a strikeout.
Trine is scheduled to begin a new four-game series against MIAA opponent Olivet (Mich.) College beginning on Saturday, Apr. 13 with a doubleheader in Olivet, Mich. The first game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.