ANGOLA, IN - The Trine University baseball team concluded a four-game series against Kalamazoo College with a doubleheader sweep of the Hornets at Jannen Field in Angola, Ind.
In game one, Kalamazoo (11-5, 3-5 MIAA) got off to a quick start with four runs in the top of the first inning that included a lead-off solo homerun and then a two-run homer later in the half inning.
Trine (3-14, 3-5 MIAA) erased the deficit in the bottom of the second thanks to a RBI-double by sophomore Matt Weis with runners on first and third base. During the very next at-bat, senior Joe Fiorucci drove in two more runs on a single that cut the deficit to a run, 4-3. Following the Fiorucci base hit, senior Shayne Devine connected on a double that scored Fiorucci and tied the game at 4-4 after two complete innings of play.
Trine took the lead in the bottom of the fourth with a run on a double by senior A.J. Mitchell, but KZOO answered with a run of its own in the top of the fifth frame to make it a 5-5 game. The Thunder answered in their half of the fifth with two more runs as the result of a RBI-double by sophomore Adam Stefanelli and then another run-scoring single by Fiorucci en route to taking a 7-5 advantage.
The Thunder tacked on two insurance runs in the sixth that started with a triple by sophomore Cory Erbskorn with a runner on second base and then a base hit by junior Gary DeMartino that plated Erbskorn and sent Trine to a 9-5 victory.
The Trine bats accounted for 13 hits, including five players with two or more hits. Erbskorn, Fiorucci and junior Brenden Warner all finished with two hits in three at-bats. Erbskorn also scored a pair of runs in addition to a RBI, Fiorucci added a run scored and three RBI, and Warner added a run scored. Mitchell and Weis both went two-of-four at the plate with both players also adding a run scored and a RBI.
Senior Adam Wheaton got his first win of the season on the mound after pitching six innings and gave up five runs, three earned on 10 hits and struck out six batters. Fellow senior Kyle Robinson finished the game and allowed no hits or runs while striking out one batter in one complete inning.
In game two, the contest remained scoreless until the third inning when KZOO got on the board with two runs that came on a two-run home run. Trine got one of the runs back in its half of the third on a double by Erbskorn.
The Hornets added to their lead with two additional runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to lead, 6-1. The Trine offense then began its rally with six unanswered runs beginning with a four-run bottom of the fifth on a double by Warner and was followed by a three-run home run by Erbskorn to make it a 6-5 ball game.
Trine then took the lead in the sixth by plating two more runs that came off the bat of Warner on a single with bases loaded. Then in the seventh inning, KZOO evened the game at 7-7 with a run setting up the Thunder with a chance to win the game in their final at-bats. After a hit-by-pitch put the potential winning run on base, back-to-back passed balls advanced the Trine runner to third base with only one out. Following a groundout, the winning run crossed home plate on a wild pitch by the Hornets giving the win to Trine by a final of 8-7 and the doubleheader sweep.
Trine was led at the plate by Warner who went three-of-four with a run scored and three RBI. Erbskorn finished two-of-three to go along with a run and four RBI to round out the Thunder multiple hitters.
Senior Drew Bradford started at pitcher for Trine in the nightcap and pitched four-and-a-third innings allowing six runs, four earned, on eight hits and struck out two batters in a no decision. Junior Bryce Bloode pitched two innings of relief and gave up just an unearned run on two hits to go along with a pair of strikeouts. Senior Drew Cebulak came on to pitch the final two-thirds of an inning and ended up as the pitcher of record after giving up no hits or runs.
Trine is scheduled to start a four-game series against Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association opponent Olivet College on Saturday, Apr. 17. The first game is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. in Olivet, Mich.
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