LAKELAND, FLA. -- After trailing by three runs following the first inning, the Trine University baseball team scored five straight runs to beat Saint Joseph's College of Maine in a single nine-inning game as part of the RussMatt Invitational in Lakeland, Fla.
Trine scored its five runs on eight hits with senior Kevin O'Malley (Commerce, Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Central) being one of two players to record a multi-hit game going two-of-four with a run scored and a RBI. Sophomore Thomas Rivet (Howell, Mich./Hartland) also had a pair of hits in three at-bats.
Sophomore pitcher Mike Gustin (Hudson, Ind./Prairie Heights) started on the hill for the Thunder and went eight full innings to claim the win. He allowed three runs on five hits and struck out seven batters. Fellow sophomore Gordon Wallace (Glennie, Mich./Tawas Area) came on in relief to finish the game and got the save after giving up no runs or hits and had one strikeout.
Saint Joseph's (2-1) scored all of its runs in the top of the first inning on a two-RBI single and a RBI-bunt attempt later in the inning. But that would be all the scoring for the Monks as Trine (2-1) plated five runs over the next eight-and-a-half innings beginning with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning that came on a two-RBI base hit by O'Malley with runners on first and third base, making the score 3-2.
The Thunder evened the score the very next inning when a defensive error with runners on second and third base allowed sophomore Nick Ricci (Hebron, Ind./Crown Point) to score from third for the 3-3 tie.
Two innings later, Trine recorded the go-ahead run on a wild pitch following a sacrifice bunt by sophomore Jacob Douglass (Frankfort, Ind./Western) that advanced a pair of runners into scoring position at second and third base.
Now leading by a run, 4-3, the Thunder tallied their final score in the bottom of the seventh when junior Jacob Heller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Prairie Heights) found open space with a RBI-single to right field that scored junior Zachary Schulte (Sterling Heights, Mich./Warren Cousino) all the way from first base to put Trine ahead, 5-3.
Following a one-two-three top of the eighth, Saint Joseph's had a final chance in the ninth to cut into the Trine lead and would get a runner on base with no outs. But Trine got Saint Joseph's to record three straight outs to end the possible threat and claim the 5-3 final.
Trine will look to keep the winning momentum going when it takes on Penn State-Altoona tomorrow (Tuesday, Mar. 6) in another nine-inning game in Winter Haven, Fla. The game is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.