The Trinity Baseball team swept its three-game series against the Southwestern University Pirates after winning their game Friday, Feb. 21 and their double-header on Saturday, Feb. 22.
On Friday, the Tigers began the weekend by beating the Pirates with a close victory of 8-7. Trinity faced a looming deficit heading into the ninth inning, but Trinity’s bats delivered in the clutch.
“I think the leadership of the coaches and the experienced players is what gives our team its edge over other teams. If you look at our games, a lot of them have been come-from-behind wins. The ability of our team to rally and get runs late in games is remarkable,” said senior pitcher Kyle Bogese.
Down 7-5 with just three outs remaining, sophomore infielders Connor Moore and Carter McEachern rallied for the team with singles. With one out, sophomore outfielder Jeremy Wolf cleared the bases with a double to left center to tie the game at seven. Wolf then advanced to third base on a passed ball, which allowed him to score the winning run as senior outfielder Pat Hirschberg reached on an error by the Pirates’ third baseman.
Southwestern fired back with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to regain the lead, and took an insurance run in the eighth, but came up short in the ninth inning as sophomore infielder Teddy Turner held strong to earn the 8-7 win. Turner finished his 3.2 innings of work, allowing just the one run.
“We’re playing well together as a team and we hate losing, which gives us a competitive edge. We’ve been down a few times going into the final inning, but we always seem to find a way to pull out the win. Our pitching has kept the opponent to minimal runs, and our offense has been explosive in these first few games,” Moore said.
The Tigers had an explosive third inning during their first game on Saturday, as Trinity broke a scoreless tie by putting six runs on the board. Hirschberg singled to center field, scoring senior shortstop Christian Muscarello. Senior designated hitter Julian Cronk smacked a three-RBI double to left center, scoring sophomore first baseman Nick Jewett, Hirschberg and Wolf. Moore posted the final RBI of the inning, a single down the left field line, which scored sophomore outfielder Austin Singer.
Cronk batted 2-3 with three RBI while scoring two runs. Muscarello, who hit the leadoff double in the sixth, went 2-4 with an RBI and one run. Hirschberg (1-4) picked up an RBI with a walk in the three-run fifth inning.
Junior pitcher Zack Speer earned the victory and remained undefeated at 3-0. Speer pitched five innings, allowed two hits and four walks. The Tigers had nine runs and 11 hits in the opening game, while Southwestern only managed three hits for part of the series. Trinity (8-1) shut out Southwestern 9-0 in the seven-inning opener.
“We’ve been so successful this year because we have total confidence that we are going to win every single game. It doesn’t matter how far down we may be; we still have faith in our ability to come back,” Speer said.
The second game was tighter at the beginning for the Tigers, as Trinity led 4-2 after three innings. Trinity scored two unearned runs in the top of the fifth, and Southwestern picked up one in the bottom half. Things picked up in favor of the Tigers in the sixth, as the team produced four runs. Sophomore third baseman Carter McEachern tripled to left center, scoring Moore. Muscarello drove in McEachern with a single. Hirschberg pounded out a triple, and scored on a throwing error by the Southwestern shortstop. Muscarello also crossed the plate.
Bogese pitched for five innings, and allowed seven hits, two earned runs, six walks, while fanning seven Pirates. Sophomore pitcher Michael Walker relieved Bogese in the sixth and worked three effective innings for the save.
The Tigers lit up with 16 hits, and Southwestern had 11 during the final game between the SCAC rivals. The final score was 17-5 in an eight-inning run-rule game.
“We are young as far as experience goes, but we are very mature in the sense that they’ve all played in big games, both in high school and college. We have great upperclassmen leadership and a hungry group of young players,” said Assistant Baseball Coach Zach Fregosi.
Trinity will host a three-game series Friday, Feb. 28-Saturday, March 1, with Centenary College. Friday’s single game begins at 7 p.m., while Saturday’s doubleheader starts at 1 p.m.