OLIVET, MICH. -- The Trine University baseball team traveled to Olivet, Mich. to begin a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association four-game series against Olivet College in the first of two doubleheaders. The Thunder fell in game one, 5-2, but won the second game, 2-1, at Cutler Athletic Complex in Olivet, Mich.
Following a scoreless first inning in game one, Olivet (4-22, 2-12 MIAA) got on the scoreboard with a four-run bottom of the second inning. Trine (11-15, 4-10 MIAA) then cut the deficit in half with a pair of runs in the top of the third thanks to a RBI-single by senior Cale Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans) with bases loaded. The Thunder got another run across home plate in the very next at-bat when junior Jake Roddy (Angola, Ind./Angola) forced in another run with a walk to make it a 4-2 ball game. In the bottom half of the third, the Comets added to their lead with a run that came on a wild pitch to make the score, 5-2.
The early offense by both teams would be the only scores the rest of the way as Olivet took game one by the final score of, 5-2.
Both teams recorded eight hits in the game. Trine was led by senior Jacob Heller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Prairie Heights) as the only multi-hitter. Heller recorded two hits in three plate appearances. Cale Hall finished one-of-four to go along with his RBI and Roddy posted a one-of-two performance at the plate in addition to his RBI.
Junior Thomas Rivet (Howell, Mich./Hartland) and sophomore Joe Fiorucci (St. Joseph, Mich./St. Joseph) scored the two runs for Trine and both recorded a base hit. Rivet went one-of-three overall, while Fiorucci finished one-of-four.
On the mound, freshman Bryce Bloode (New Carlisle, Ind./New Prairie) got the start, but suffered the loss after going two innings and allowed four runs on five hits and had two strikeouts. Sophomore Conner Dove (St. Joe, Ind./Eastside) replaced Bloode and pitched three and two-thirds innings in relief and gave up just a lone run on three hits and struck out five batters. Junior Tony Bottone (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers) finished the game and gave up no runs or hits to go along with one strikeout in a third of an inning.
Olivet began game two with a run in the bottom of the first inning to take the early lead. The difference remained a run until the top of the sixth inning when Trine evened the contest with a score that came on a run-scoring single by Roddy.
In the very next Trine inning, the Thunder took the lead on a defensive error that allowed a run to score that was set up by a Nick Ricci (Hebron, Ind./Crown Point) single to lead-off the inning. Olivet looked to potentially tie the game with a runner in scoring position in the eighth inning, but failed to get the run across before the Trine defense recorded the third out to end the frame. Then in the bottom of the ninth, Trine got the Comets to hit into three straight outs to seal the win, 2-1, and come away with the two-game split.
Trine had six hits in the game with half of those base knocks coming off the bat of Cale Hall who was three-of-four. Ricci finished with a pair of hits and went two-of-four overall in addition to a run scored. Roddy recorded the other hit for the Thunder and was one-of-three with the RBI.
Sophomore Drew Bradford (Huntington, Ind./Whitko) started at pitcher and got the win after going six-and-a-third innings and gave up just a run on seven hits and struck out nine batters. Sophomore Kyle Robinson (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) pitched an inning and two-thirds innings in relief and allowed now runs or hits and tallied two strikeouts. Junior Caleb Deiter (Whiteland, Ind./Whiteland Community) came on to pitch the final inning and was credited with the save allowing no hits or runs.
Trine is scheduled to wrap-up the series with the final doubleheader tomorrow (Sunday, Apr. 14) at Jannen Field in Angola, Ind. The first game is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.