SPRINGFIELD, OHIO -- The Trine University baseball team earn a split against Wittenberg (Ohio) University in a non-conference doubleheader at Carleton-Davidson Field in Springfield, Ohio. The Thunder won the first game, 8-2, and fell short in an offensive shootout in game two, 20-19.
In the first game, Trine (5-5) scored first right out the gate with a three-run top of the first inning thanks to a three-run homerun by junior Jake Roddy (Angola, Ind./Angola). Wittenberg (5-4) chipped away at the deficit with runs in the bottom of the second and third innings to make it a one-run game, 3-2.
Trine got a little breathing room in the sixth that began with back-to-back Thunder outs. Senior Cale Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans) then hit a double and later scored on the very next at-bat by junior Chase Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans) to make the score, 4-2.
The Thunder then put the game away in the top of the seventh with a four-run inning that was highlighted by a two-run double by Roddy. The other two runs came on a RBI-base hit by junior Shayne Devine (Valparaiso, Ind./Portage) and a run-scoring double play. In the bottom half of the frame, the Trine defense got the Wittenberg batters to record three consecutive outs to end the game and take the win by a final of 8-2.
Trine had 11 total hits in game one led by Cale Hall who finished three-of-four to go along with a run scored. Sophomore Joe Fiorucci (St. Joseph, Mich./St. Joseph) had two hits in three at-bats and also scored two runs. Roddy and Devine both went two-of-four at the plate with Roddy also scoring a pair of runs to go along with a game-high five RBI, while Devine added a RBI.
Sophomore Adam Wheaton (Kalamazoo, Mich./Hackett Catholic Prep) started on the mound and got the win after pitching six complete innings and gave up just two runs on six hits while striking out three batters. Fellow sophomore Kyle Robinson (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) pitched the final inning and allowed no hits or runs and had one strikeout.
The second game featured no lack of offense as the two teams combined for 39 runs and 42 hits, with 23 hits coming off the bats of Trine hitters. The Thunder grabbed the early lead with a run in the top of the first on a RBI-ground out by junior Thomas Rivet (Howell, Mich./Hartland) that was set up by a lead-off double by senior Jacob Heller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Prairie Heights). But the Tigers took the lead in the bottom of the inning by platting five runs on two-run and three-run home runs.
Wittenberg platted another run in the second to increase the margin to 6-1. In the third inning, Trine got a pair of runs across home plate to pull to within three runs, but the Tigers then broke the game open in their half of the frame with six runs to extend out to a 12-3 advantage.
The two teams combined for eight more runs in the fourth inning with Trine tallying three runs on a trio of RBI-singles by Chase Hall, Heller and Rivet. Wittenberg continued to pad its lead with five runs in the bottom of the fourth that made it a 17-6 game. The Tigers got another run in the fifth thanks to a solo home run to increase the margin to 18-6.
Trine made a sizeable dent in the Wittenberg lead with eight runs in the sixth that included a bases clearing double by junior Nick Ricci (Hebron, Ind./Crown Point) with bases loaded to narrow the gap to 18-14.
Trine continued the scoring with three more runs in the seventh and got two more in the eighth. The Thunder's three runs in the seventh came on a RBI-double by Cale Hall, a run-scoring single and defensive error by freshman Brenden Warner (Richland, Mich./Hackett Catholic Prep) and a RBI-double by Heller. The final two runs for Trine in the eighth came via a double by Cale Hall.
Wittenberg held on to the victory with single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to hold off the Trine rally en route to the 20-19 final.
Heller and Cale Hall led a total of seven Trine players who recorded multiple hits in the nightcap. Both players had five hits in six at-bats. Heller also scored a pair of runs and three RBI, while Cale Hall scored three runs and three RBI.
The remaining players all finished with a pair of hits that included Devine who was two-of-three with a run scored and a RBI. Rivet went two-of-four with two runs scored and a team-high four RBI. Ricci finished the game two-of-five at the plate to go along with two runs scored and three RBI. Chase Hall and Fiorucci both finished two-of-six overall with Chase Hall also scoring a pair of runs and RBI, while Fiorucci crossed home plate twice.
Seven pitchers saw action for Trine with sophomore Drew Bradford (Huntington, Ind./Whitko) getting the start and pitched two and two-thirds innings allowing 10 runs, nine earned, on six hits. Junior Tony Bottone (Fort Wayne, Ind./Bishop Luers) ended up as the pitcher of record and suffered the loss after a third of an inning and allowed a run.
Trine and Wittenberg will conclude its three-game series tomorrow (Sunday, Mar. 17) with a nine-inning game that is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. in Springfield, Ohio.