Trine Sweeps Season Series Against Hope

Trine Sweeps Season Series Against Hope

HOLLAND, MICH.  --  The Trine University baseball team won both games of the final doubleheader against Hope (Mich.) College, 10-4 and 23-10, to take all four games of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association series.

The Thunder recorded a record-setting game in game two setting school single-game marks for at-bats (54) and hits (29).  In addition, Trine's 23 runs rank as the second most all-time in a single game. 

Trine had several players record multi-hit games, led by junior Jacob Heller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Prairie Heights) who had five hits in six at-bats to go along with five runs scored and five RBI.  Senior Kevin O'Malley (Commerce Twp., Mich./Walled Lake Central) was second with four hits in six attempts and also scored two runs and two RBI. 

Senior Colton Conn (Cincinnati, Ohio/Indian Hill), juniors Chris Frantz (Niles, Mich./Niles), Stephen Sieczkowski (Norwich, Conn./Norwich Technical) and sophomore Chase Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans) all recorded three hits in the game.  Conn (three-of-five) also scored five runs and four RBI, Frantz (three-of-six) added a pair of runs scored and RBI, Sieczkowski (three-of-five) also scored a pair of runs and RBI, and Chase Hall (three-of-six) had three runs scored and three RBI.

Four pitchers saw playing time for Trine with sophomore Michael Scoffin (Vicksburg, Mich./Vicksburg) getting the start and pitched one inning while allowing five runs on three hits in a no decision.  Freshman Conner Dove (St. Joe, Ind./Eastside) was credited with the win after pitching four solid innings in relief allowing no runs and just two hits.

Trine (17-15, 11-9 MIAA) jumped out early with three runs in the top of the first and second innings that included a single by sophomore Nick Ricci (Hebron, Ind./Crown Point) that scored a pair of runs in the first as the Thunder led, 6-0, after an inning-and-a-half.  Momentum then swung in favor of Hope (10-18, 8-10 MIAA) as the Flying Dutchmen scored seven runs in the bottom of the second to take a one-run lead, 7-6.

Hope added another run in the fourth to make it an 8-6 game. 

The Thunder bats then exploded for 17 unanswered runs that started with a five-run top of the fifth that was highlighted by a two-run single by Heller.  Trine then plated three more runs in the sixth when Conn connected on a three-run home run and the offense continued in the seventh as the Thunder platted two additional runs on a sacrifice fly by Frantz and a RBI-single by Sieczkowksi.  Trine kept up the scoring with a seven-run ninth inning that included a pair of two-RBI base hits by Chase Hall and Heller as the visitors led, 23-8, heading into the bottom of the ninth.

Hope got two runs in its final at-bats of the game that came on a two-run home run, but the earlier offensive outbreak by Trine was too much as the Thunder claimed the 23-10 win.

In the early game, Trine jumped out to a 4-0 lead with a four-run top of the first inning that saw O'Malley hit a base-clearing double with bases loaded and was later followed by a sacrifice fly by sophomore Thomas Rivet (Howell, Mich./Hartland).  Hope got one of the runs back in the bottom half of the inning on a run-scoring groundout to make the score, 4-1.

Both teams traded runs in the fourth with Trine's run coming on a fielder's choice with runners at first and third base and allowed Ricci to score from third. 

The Dutchmen cut the lead to a run in the bottom of the fifth, but the Thunder scored the final five runs of the game, beginning with three runs in the top of the sixth on a fielder's choice by freshman A.J. Willis (Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington North) and a two-run double by Chase Hall.

The final runs came in the seventh as Trine crossed home plate twice on a defensive error that scored both Ricci and Rivet as the Thunder went on to the 10-4 final.

Trine had 10 hits in game one with O'Malley and Rivet both recording multiple hits.  O'Malley finished the game two-of-four with a run scored and three RBI.  Rivet went two-of-three and scored a pair of runs.  Ricci was one of six other players to record a hit in addition to scoring three runs and a RBI.

Sophomore Mike Gustin (Hudson, Ind./Prairie Heights) got the start on the mound and pitched three full innings allowing a run on two hits in a no decision.  Senior Dylan Hutchison (Montpelier, Ohio/North Central) ended up as the pitcher of record to claim the win after going an inning-and-a-third and allowed three runs on five hits.  Sophomore Caleb Deiter (Whiteland, Ind./Whiteland Community) pitched the final two and two-thirds innings and gave up no runs and just two hits.

Trine is scheduled to begin its next MIAA series on Friday, Apr. 27 when it travels to Adrian, Mich. to take on Adrian College.  The first game of the doubleheader is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m.