AUBURNDALE, FLA. -- Trine University baseball trailed by two runs going into the bottom of the ninth, but a four-run top half of the inning by Saint Vincent (Pa.) College helped seal a 10-6 margin as the Thunder fell to the Bearcats in Auburndale, Fla.
Trine (4-2) jumped out to an early lead with a run in the bottom of the first inning that was the result of a RBI-single by senior Kevin O'Malley (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Central) that allowed teammate Tomas Rivet (Howell, Mich./Hartland) to score from second base.
Saint Vincent (2-3) equaled the Thunder run with a run of its own in the top of the second and then took the lead with a pair of runs in the third to make it a 3-1 game. Trine got one of the runs back in the bottom of the third with a RBI-base hit by senior Colton Conn (Cincinnati, Ohio/Indian Hill) to make the score 3-2.
Both teams scored runs in the fourth inning with the Bearcats adding three scores and the Thunder tallying two runs in their half of the inning thanks to a RBI-double by junior Jacob Heller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Prairie View) and a defensive error, but Saint Vincent increased their lead by a run, 6-4, after four frames.
The deficit remained two runs for Trine until the ninth when Saint Vincent got four runs across home plate that included a two-run homerun and put the Bearcats further out in front, 10-4. Trine looked to mount a comeback in the bottom of the inning and had runners on second and third base when sophomore Chase Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans) connected on a double that scored both runs and narrowed the gap to 10-6. But the two runs came with two outs already on the board and the Bearcats were able to record the final out before the Thunder could add any more runs, resulting in a 10-6 final in favor of Saint Vincent.
The Trine offense was led by Heller who finished a perfect five-of-five at the plate with two runs scored and a RBI. Rivet, Conn and Chase Hall all finished with a pair of hits on the day. Rivet went two-of-five and scored a run. Conn posted a two-of-five effort and drove in a run and Chase Hall ended the game with two hits in five at-bats to go along with two RBI.
Four pitchers saw action for Trine with sophomore Caleb Deiter (Whiteland, Ind./Whiteland Community) getting the start and went three innings, allowing three runs on five hits and had two strikeouts. He was also credited with the loss and is now 0-1 for the season. Freshman Ben West (Stanton, Mich./Central Montcalm) had a solid outing in relief by pitching four and two-thirds innings and gave up just two unearned runs in addition to striking out five batters.
Trine will conclude its annual spring Florida trip tomorrow (Friday, Mar. 9) with a doubleheader matchup against King's (Pa.) College in Winter Haven, Fla. The first game of the twinbill is set to begin at 1 p.m.