KALAMAZOO, MI - The Trine University baseball team opened a four-game series against Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association opponent Kalamazoo College with a doubleheader split in Kalamazoo, Mich.
The Thunder recorded their first win of the season in game one by defeating the Hornets, 5-3, but fell in the nightcap by a final of 11-4.
In game one, no runs crossed home plate until the fifth inning when Trine (1-14, 1-5 MIAA) got on the scoreboard with two runs in the top half of the inning that began with a lead-off double by junior Gary DeMartino. Three batters later, DeMartino scored on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Matt Weis that gave Trine a 1-0 lead. The Thunder's other run also came on a sacrifice fly, this time by senior Shayne Devine to make it a 2-0 ball game. KZOO (11-3, 3-3 MIAA) got a run of its own in the bottom half of the frame on a defensive error, but Trine maintained a one-run advantage after five complete innings.
The lead remained at a run for Trine until the top of the seventh when the Thunder scored three more runs, all with two outs. With runners on first and second base, senior A.J. Mitchell plated a run with a RBI single. In the very next at-bat, sophomore Cory Erbskorn connected on a triple that scored two more runs and increased the lead to 5-1. KZOO looked to mount a rally in the bottom of the seventh with a lead-off triple. The Hornets then got the run home in the next at-bat on a ground out to make the score, 5-2. KZOO then rattled off three straight singles which led to another run to creep to within two runs, 5-3, and with only one out. Following a fielder's choice that advanced another potential run to third base, Trine got the final out it needed thanks to an infield groundout and sealed the two-run victory (5-3).
As a team, Trine finished with nine hits in the game and was led by Erbskorn who finished two-of-three to go along with two RBI. Mitchell also recorded a pair of hits and went two-of-four overall in addition to scoring a run and a RBI. Five other players each recorded a base hit in the winning effort that included Devine who was one-of-three with a RBI. DeMartino had a hit in two at-bats with his run scored.
Freshman Jeff Hoogewerf got the start on the mound for the Thunder and turned in a solid performance going five innings and allowed just a lone unearned run on two hits with three strikeouts. Senior Adam Wheaton came on to pitch two innings of relief and was credited with a save. He allowed two runs on four hits and struck out one batter.
In game two, KZOO got the scoring going in the bottom of the second inning with four runs that included a two-run home run. Trine answered with three runs in their next at-bats thanks to a run-scoring double by junior Brenden Warner and then a two-run homer by Mitchell that cut the deficit to 4-3. But the Hornets had a response of their own with five runs in their half of the third highlighted by a three-run home run.
DeMartino led off the Trine fourth inning with a double and then scored two batters later when sophomore Adam Steffanelli traded places with DeMartino with a double of his own to make the score, 9-4. The final two runs of the game came off of the KZOO bats, however, as the Hornets tacked on two additional runs in the bottom of the fourth thanks to back-to-back doubles en route to the 11-4 final.
Trine had two players finish with multiple hits in Mitchell and Erbskorn. Both players had two hits in four plate appearances with Mitchell scoring a run and two RBI. Warner finished one-of-three with a run scored and RBI and DeMartino was one-of-four in addition to scoring a run.
The Thunder used five pitchers in the game with freshman Cam Nagel getting the start and pitched two and two-thirds innings giving up nine runs, five earned, on eight hits in the loss.
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