Thunder Begin Series Against Hope

Thunder Begin Series Against Hope

HOLLAND, MICH.  --  The Trine University baseball team traveled to Holland, Mich. to begin a four-game series against Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association opponent Hope College, but lost both games of the doubleheader, 5-0 and 4-3 in 11 innings.

In game one, Hope (25-1, 15-1 MIAA) grabbed the early lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning and then scored two more runs in the bottom of the second to lead, 3-0. 

The Flying Dutchmen then padded their lead in the fourth with a pair of additional runs on a two-run single with runners on second and third base to make the score, 5-0.  The five-run difference proved to be all that was needed as the Hope defense held Trine (13-17, 6-12 MIAA) to just three hits in the game and went on to win by the final of 5-0.

Three different players each recorded hits for the Thunder with sophomore Nick Bonifant (Heath, Ohio/Heath), senior Jacob Heller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Prairie Heights) and junior Nick Ricci (Hebron, Ind./Crown Point) each reaching base safely via a base hit.

Sophomore Drew Bradford (Huntington, Ind./Whitko) started at pitcher and went five and two-thirds innings, but was given the loss after allowing five runs, four earned, on 11 hits to go along with four strikeouts.  Sophomore Heath Houser (Kenton, Ohio/Kenton Senior) pitched the final third of an inning and gave up no hits or runs and had one strikeout.

In the nightcap, Hope struck with a run in the bottom of the second inning to take an early lead.  In the top of the second, Trine worked its way to having a runner at every base and then got one of the runs home on a RBI-single by Ricci.  During the next Thunder at-bat, junior Chase Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans) reached on a fielder's choice which resulted in senior Cale Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans) scoring from third, giving Trine a one-run lead, 2-1, after an inning-and-a-half.  But in the bottom half of the frame, Hope tacked on a run to even the score at 2-2 after two complete innings.

Trine regained the lead in the fifth with a run that came on a ground out with junior Jake Roddy (Angola, Ind./Angola) on third base for a score of 3-2.  Two innings later, the Dutchmen got the game-tying run on a double to make it a 3-3 game.

Neither team crossed home plate the rest of the way, forcing the game into extra innings.  Following a scoreless 10th inning, Trine got a runner on base by way of a single by sophomore Joe Fiorucci (St. Joseph, Mich./St. Joseph), but the run would not end up scoring, keeping the game deadlocked at 3-3.  In Hope's half of the inning, the Dutchmen led off with a walk followed by a bunt to get the runner into scoring position.  Two batters later, Hope got a base hit to left field which allowed the runner to score from second and claim the 4-3 win.

Trine had nine hits in the game with Ricci, Bonifant and Heller each tallying multiple hits.  Ricci ended the game two-of-four in addition to a RBI.  Bonifant and Heller both went two-of-five at the plate with Heller also scoring a run.

Cale Hall was one-of-five to go along with a run scored and Fiorucci's hit was a pinch-hit opportunity and his only plate appearance of the afternoon.

On the mound, five pitchers saw action for Trine with freshman Bryce Bloode (New Carlisle, Ind./New Prairie) getting the start and lasting four-and-a-third innings in a no decision.  He allowed two runs, one earned, and nine hits in addition to striking out two batters.  Junior Caleb Deiter (Whiteland, Ind./Whiteland Community) ended up as the pitcher of record, pitching an inning and two thirds and gave up a run on three hits in the loss.

The two teams are scheduled to square off again tomorrow (Saturday, Apr. 20) in a doubleheader to be played at Jannen Field in Angola, Ind.  The MIAA twinbill is slated to start at 1 p.m.

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