Trine Ends Hope Series with Split

Trine Ends Hope Series with Split

ANGOLA, IND.  --  The Trine University baseball team concluded a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association four-game series against Hope (Mich.) College with a doubleheader split at Jannen Field in Angola, Ind.

In game one, the two teams traded runs in the first inning with Trine's (14-18, 7-13 MIAA) run coming on a ground out with runners on second and third base.  The Thunder took the lead in the bottom of the second thanks to a three-run inning that included a RBI-double by sophomore Joe Fiorucci (St. Joseph, Mich./St. Joseph) and RBI-singles by senior Zach Schulte (Sterling Heights, Mich./Warren Cousino) and junior Jacob Douglass (Frankfort, Ind./Western) that made the score, 4-1.

Hope (26-4, 16-4 MIAA) chipped into the deficit with a run in the top of the third inning to make it a 4-2 game, but the Thunder then broke the game open with four more runs in the fourth highlighted by a two-run home run by senior Cale Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans), his first of the season, and a two-run single by fellow senior Jacob Heller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Prairie Heights) that came just before the Cale Hall homer.

The Flying Dutchmen plated what turned out to be the final run of the game in the fifth on a single up the middle, but the run would not be enough as Trine went on to the 8-3 final.

Trine had nine hits in game one with the duo of Rivet and Douglass leading the way with two hits in four at-bats each.  Rivet also scored a pair of runs, while Douglass added a RBI.  Heller and Cale Hall both posted one-of-three efforts at the plate.  Both players also scored a run, but Heller would add a pair of RBI and Cale Hall drove in a total of three runs.

Schulte had a hit in two at-bats and tied Rivet with two runs scored in addition to a RBI.  Fiorucci was one-of-three overall with a run and RBI.  

On the mound, sophomore Adam Wheaton (Kalamazoo, Mich./Hackett Catholic Prep) pitched his second straight complete game and posted back-to-back wins in his last two starts to improve to 4-2 on the year.  Against the Dutchmen, Wheaton allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits and struck out six batters.

Game two featured a combined 21 runs between the two teams and 28 total hits.  Hope looked to take control early with four runs in the top of the first inning on four hits in the first five Dutchmen plate appearances.  But Trine rallied in the next frame with four runs of its own that came on a pair of two-RBI singles by Schulte and junior Jake Roddy (Angola, Ind./Angola), both with bases loaded.  

Hope quickly regained the lead in the top of the third following Trine's four-run second inning with two scores on a two-run home run to make it a 6-4 ball game.  The Dutchmen then added two additional runs in the fourth inning on a solo homer to start the inning and then a sacrific fly later in the frame.  The Thunder responded with two runs in their half of the inning thanks to a RBI-double by Heller and a defensive error to pull back to within two runs, 8-6, after four innings.

The next round of scoring came in the seventh when Hope started things off with a pair of runs before Trine got one of the runs back in the bottom of the inning thanks to a sacrifice fly by Fiorucci that allowed sophomore Shayne Devine (Valparaiso, Ind./Portage) to score from third base.  But the Dutchmen increased their overall lead by a run with a score of 10-7.

In the ninth inning, Hope struck for two insurance runs in the top half of the inning to increase the margin to 12-7.  Trine would make things interesting with two runs in its final at-bats that began with a base hit by Devine to lead-off the inning and was later followed by a run-scoring single by Fiorucci two batters later.  The other run came during the very next plate appearance on a errant throw on a double play that allowed Fiorucci to score from first base.  But those were the final runs that crossed home plate before Hope got consecutive outs to end the game and hold on for the 12-9 final.

Trine had 13 hits in game two with Fiorucci going three-of-four with two runs scored and two RBI to lead the way.  Junior Nick Ricci (Hebron, Ind./Crown Point) was one of four other players to finish with two hits adn was two-of-four overall in addition to scoring a run.  Rivet and Devine both had two hits in five at-bat with Rivet adding a run scored and Devine crossing home plate twice.

Schulte rounded out the multi-hitters with two hits in three attempts with two runs scored and two RBI.  Roddy ended the game one-of-five at the plate to go along with his two RBI and Heller went one-of-three with the RBI.  

Trine used a total of seven pitchers in the game with junior Shawn Ligocki (West Chicago, Ill./St. Charles East) getting the start, but suffered the loss after going three innings and allowing six runs on eight hits with one strikeout.  

Trine will next travel to Adrian, Mich. for the first of two MIAA doubleheaders scheduled against Adrian College beginning on Saturday, Apr. 27.  The first game of the twinbill is set to begin at 1 p.m.

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