ANGOLA, IND. -- The Trine University baseball team split the final pair of games of a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association four-game series against Calvin (Mich.) College ending a six-game losing streak at Jannen Field in Angola. The Thunder fell short of a comeback in game one, 3-2, but rallied to beat the Knights in the nightcap, 7-5.
Junior Cale Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans) hit a solo homerun in the second game against Calvin and finished one-of-three overall on the day. Sophomore Thomas Rivet (Howell, Mich./Hartland) ended the series with a combined four-of-eight performance in the two games to go along with three runs scored and a pair of RBI. Fellow sophomore Nick Ricci (Hebron, Ind./Crown Point) had a total of three hits in seven at-bats and drove in two runs. Juniors Jacob Heller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Prairie Heights) and Chris Frantz (Niles, Mich./Niles) also had a total of three hits with Heller finishing three-of-seven to go along with a run scored and a RBI, while Frantz went three-of-five and scored both a run and a RBI.
Junior Zachary Schulte (Sterling Heights, Mich./Warren Cousino) and senior Colton Conn (Cincinnati, Ohio/Indian Hill) rounded out the multi-hitters with a pair of hits each. In two games, Schulte was two-of-seven with a run scored and RBI. Conn wrapped up the Calvin matchup with two hits in five at-bats and scored two runs.
In game one, Calvin (7-11, 5-3 MIAA) scored two runs in the top of the first inning on a two-run homerun. The Knights platted another run in the third to extend the margin to 3-0. Trine (8-11, 2-6 MIAA) scored a pair of runs of its own in the bottom of the fourth with a RBI-single by Ricci and a bases loaded hit-by-pitch with sophomore Jake Roddy (Angola, Ind./Angola) at the plate that pulled the Thunder within a run, 3-2.
In the bottom of the seventh, Trine got a runner into scoring position, but with two outs. Before the tying run could score, Calvin recorded the game-ending out on a strikeout to hang on for the 3-2 win.
Trine finished with just four hits in the game with four different players reaching base safely. Rivet and Heller both scored a run, while Ricci and Roddy both had a RBI.
Freshman Adam Wheaton (Kalamazoo, Mich./Hackett Catholic Prep) pitched a complete game for the Thunder, but was credited with the loss despite striking out seven batters. Three runs would score on eight hits in seven complete innings of work.
In game two, Trine scored the first runs of the game with scores in the bottom of the third and fourth innings. Ricci singled in the third to plate Conn with bases loaded to make it a 1-0 game, and Hall added another run with his solo shot in the fourth to make it a 2-0 game.
Calvin then took the lead with a four-run top of the fourth inning, but Trine got one of the runs back in its half of the inning on a sacrifice fly by O'Malley as the Thunder trailed, 4-3, after five innings of play.
In a reversal of the fifth inning, the Knights scored a run in the top half of the frame before the Thunder rallied with four runs that included a two-run single by Rivet and a pair of RBI-base hits by both Schulte and Heller to give Trine a 7-5 advantage.
The Thunder lead remained at two runs heading into the top of the ninth that saw Calvin get a runner to third base with the possible game-tying run at the plate. But the Trine defense recorded the final out on a groundout, snapping its six-game skid and took the two-game split with a final score of 7-5.
Trine recorded 14 hits in the nightcap with Rivet going three-of-five with two runs scored and two RBI. Five other players each finished with two hits. Ricci, Frantz and Schulte all were two-of-four with Ricci also driving in a run, Frantz scored a run and Schulte added both a run scored and a RBI. Conn and Heller were both two-of-five with Conn scoring a pair of runs and Heller a RBI.
Freshman Ben West (Stanton, Mich./Central Montcalm) started on the mound for Trine and ended up with a no decision after pitching five and two-thirds innings, giving up five runs on six hits and had one strikeout. Senior Dylan Hutchison (Montpelier, Ohio/North Central) came on to pitch two-and-a-third innings in relief and got the win giving up no runs and just one hit, while striking out three batters. Sophomore Caleb Deiter (Whiteland, Ind./Whiteland Community) replaced Hutchison in the ninth and was credited with the save.
The Thunder are scheduled to host Heidelberg University in a single, nine-inning game on Thursday, Apr. 5 at Jannen Field. The first pitch is slated for 4 p.m.