The Trinity Baseball team played a weekend series against Southwestern starting March 27. The Tigers played one game Friday night, and then a doubleheader on Saturday.
Trinity struck first in the Friday game, scoring a run in the top of the second inning. Southwestern responded with three runs in the bottom of the second. The Tigers tied the game in the top of the sixth inning, when sophomore Scott Walters smacked a two-run double down the left field line.
“The guy they had out there really had me guessing. I just waited for my pitch and he eventually threw it. I sat back and pulled the ball down the line. I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to contribute this year but that hit felt good, despite the loss,” Walters said.
Southwestern eventually took the lead in the bottom of the eighth after Trinity failed to score in the top of the inning. Trinity pitcher Trent Rape pitched all nine innings for the Tigers, striking out 10 batters and allowing five hits.
The first game on Saturday also resulted in a loss for Trinity. The Tigers were up 9-2 going into the bottom of the fifth inning, but Southwestern put up six runs in the bottom of the fifth. Southwestern took the lead the next inning, going up 10-9. Trinity had a lead going into the bottom of the ninth, up 11-10, but Southwestern got the leadoff man on in the bottom of the ninth before hitting a game-winning homerun.
“There is a lack of respect being given to the opponent and the teams we are facing are taking advantage of it. Talent is not a big issue in our program. Toughness, focus and effort are where we lack,” said pitching coach David Smith.
The second game on Saturday started the same as the first, but ended differently. Trinity scored six runs between the second and third innings and held a 8-1 lead going into the bottom of the fifth inning. Southwestern put up three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Tigers finally buried the Pirates adding five more runs and ending up winning the game 13-4.
“I don’t think we pitched poorly as a staff this weekend. Obviously there are a few things we need to work on, hitting spots, getting ahead of batters and pitching to our strengths. I think we were taken by surprise at how aggressive their hitters were. They swung at a lot of pitches and I don’t think we expected that,” said sophomore Troy Nelson.
Zack Speer received the win the second game, allowing four runs on nine hits over five innings.
“The players control their destiny. They know what they need to improve on, they also know how they need to approach each individual game. If we play every game from this point forward with great focus, energy and toughness, no matter the opponent, special things can still occur,” Smith said. “However, this group doing that consistently would be a major change compared to the first two months of this season”.
The Tigers played two games against Concordia last week, winning the first game 11-3 and losing the second 8-3. The loss on Friday snapped a three-game winning streak for the Tigers. Speer took the loss in Friday’s game moving him to 5-2 on the season.
The team plays again this weekend, April 11 and 12, taking on the University of Dallas in a three-game series in Irving, Texas.