Last Tuesday, Trinity faced Our Lady of the Lake (OLLU) Saints in a single-game series between the two local schools. The game started slow for the Tigers, with one hit and no runs throughout the first six innings.

“Through the first six-seven innings, their pitcher did a good job keeping us off balance. He had a pretty good splitter and was able to throw it for a strike in any count,” said junior designated hitter Joey Pecoraro. “The second time through the lineup, he worked in a slider that he rarely showed us the first time through the lineup.”

Meanwhile, defensively, senior right-handed starter Dylan McGee allowed OLLU to score three runs, two in the second inning and one in the third. McGee was relieved by senior right-handed pitcher Trevor Griffin in the bottom of the third.

“I was just trying to get the last out of the inning to prevent any more runs from scoring and to keep the game close. Looking back, I feel like that was the hardest out for me to get,” Griffin said.

The game saw a strong performance from Griffin, as the senior shut down OLLU offense, allowing the Tiger offense to truly shine later in the night.

“I took on the mentality of a starting pitcher and ultimately did my best to shut down the opposing team in order to give our team a shot to win,”  Griffin said. “Going back out to pitch for the fourth inning and ultimately the rest of the game everyone was on the same page with the game plan, including the pitches that were being called, along with the execution of those pitches.”

The first score of the night came in the sixth inning, when junior outfielder Blake Frampton scored an unearned run on a wild pitch after a series of errors on the part of OLLU’s defense.

“Scoring that first run really woke us up offensively,” Frampton said. “The pitcher we were facing wasn’t necessarily a dominant pitcher, but after we scored, it woke up our bats and allowed us to dominate the rest of the game.”

“A lot of it had to do with momentum,” Pecoraro said. “We definitely didn’t have much through those first seven innings offensively. When we did start putting runs up, our mindset changed and we realized we were still in the game. That just led to more runs.”

Going into the top of the seventh, the Saints starter Caleb Mireles was relieved by Oigres Garcia.

“After their starter came out it seemed as though our hitters started to relax a bit more and put together some great innings,” Griffin said.

The Saints would look to the bullpen several more times throughout the inning, using three pitchers in an inning which brought the Tigers four runs. The inning began with junior catcher Parker Cormack walked, advancing to third on a single from senior second baseman George Haaland.

“It is a mindset of sticking to your approach and trusting that will lead to success,” Haaland said. “If our lineup sticks with a simple, aggressive, confident approach our offense could be dangerous.”

With a double into left field gap, junior designated hitter Joey Pecoraro allowed for junior catcher Parker Cormack and Haaland both to score, bringing the score to a 3-3 tie. Haaland attributes the rise of Tiger momentum to the way in which the hitters began relying on one another throughout the inning.

“We started taking at bats as a team,” Haaland said. “Early in the game we weren’t relying on the entire lineup to build offensive innings. In the seventh and after we started getting deeper into counts and sticking with our approach and controlling the strike zone with the bat.”

The inning continued with a triple from Frampton, allowing Pecoraro to score, putting the Tigers ahead for the first time of the night. With another run from Frampton, the Tigers went into the bottom of the seventh 5-3 over the OLLU Saints.

“As a pitcher, nothing boosts your confidence more than to go out the next inning after being down by three runs and then all of a sudden your team is only down by a small margin or even winning as was the case for our team,” Griffin said.

Energized by that momentum, Griffin brought forth another great inning and the Tigers soon returned to bat. The eighth inning brought a triple from Haaland that batted in Cormack and first-year outfielder Rafe Chaumette. Haaland also scored that inning on a single from sophomore pinch hitter Dalys Binder. This inning saw a fifth switch in Saints pitching.

“When you’re causing a team to go to the bullpen it’s always a big momentum gain, because as a team you know the opponent is on their heels,” Frampton said.

Last Tuesday, Trinity faced Our Lady of the Lake (OLLU) Saints in a single-game series between the two local schools. The game started slow for the Tigers, with one hit and no runs throughout the first six innings.

“Through the first six-seven innings, their pitcher did a good job keeping us off balance. He had a pretty good splitter and was able to throw it for a strike in any count,” said junior designated hitter Joey Pecoraro. “The second time through the lineup, he worked in a slider that he rarely showed us the first time through the lineup.”

Meanwhile, defensively, senior right-handed starter Dylan McGee allowed OLLU to score three runs, two in the second inning and one in the third. McGee was relieved by senior right-handed pitcher Trevor Griffin in the bottom of the third.

“I was just trying to get the last out of the inning to prevent any more runs from scoring and to keep the game close. Looking back, I feel like that was the hardest out for me to get,” Griffin said.

The game saw a strong performance from Griffin, as the senior shut down OLLU offense, allowing the Tiger offense to truly shine later in the night.

“I took on the mentality of a starting pitcher and ultimately did my best to shut down the opposing team in order to give our team a shot to win,”  Griffin said. “Going back out to pitch for the fourth inning and ultimately the rest of the game everyone was on the same page with the game plan, including the pitches that were being called, along with the execution of those pitches.”

The first score of the night came in the sixth inning, when junior outfielder Blake Frampton scored an unearned run on a wild pitch after a series of errors on the part of OLLU’s defense.

“Scoring that first run really woke us up offensively,” Frampton said. “The pitcher we were facing wasn’t necessarily a dominant pitcher, but after we scored, it woke up our bats and allowed us to dominate the rest of the game.”

“A lot of it had to do with momentum,” Pecoraro said. “We definitely didn’t have much through those first seven innings offensively. When we did start putting runs up, our mindset changed and we realized we were still in the game. That just led to more runs.”

Going into the top of the seventh, the Saints starter Caleb Mireles was relieved by Oigres Garcia.

“After their starter came out it seemed as though our hitters started to relax a bit more and put together some great innings,” Griffin said.

The Saints would look to the bullpen several more times throughout the inning, using three pitchers in an inning which brought the Tigers four runs. The inning began with junior catcher Parker Cormack walked, advancing to third on a single from senior second baseman George Haaland.

“It is a mindset of sticking to your approach and trusting that will lead to success,” Haaland said. “If our lineup sticks with a simple, aggressive, confident approach our offense could be dangerous.”

With a double into left field gap, junior designated hitter Joey Pecoraro allowed for junior catcher Parker Cormack and Haaland both to score, bringing the score to a 3-3 tie. Haaland attributes the rise of Tiger momentum to the way in which the hitters began relying on one another throughout the inning.

“We started taking at bats as a team,” Haaland said. “Early in the game we weren’t relying on the entire lineup to build offensive innings. In the seventh and after we started getting deeper into counts and sticking with our approach and controlling the strike zone with the bat.”

The inning continued with a triple from Frampton, allowing Pecoraro to score, putting the Tigers ahead for the first time of the night. With another run from Frampton, the Tigers went into the bottom of the seventh 5-3 over the OLLU Saints.

“As a pitcher, nothing boosts your confidence more than to go out the next inning after being down by three runs and then all of a sudden your team is only down by a small margin or even winning as was the case for our team,” Griffin said.

Energized by that momentum, Griffin brought forth another great inning and the Tigers soon returned to bat. The eighth inning brought a triple from Haaland that batted in Cormack and first-year outfielder Rafe Chaumette. Haaland also scored that inning on a single from sophomore pinch hitter Dalys Binder. This inning saw a fifth switch in Saints pitching.

“When you’re causing a team to go to the bullpen it’s always a big momentum gain, because as a team you know the opponent is on their heels,” Frampton said.

In the bottom of the eighth, Griffin continued to shut down the Saints offense, as he did in the ninth. The game saw Griffin taking a win for the Tigers with a score of 8-3 against the Division I team.

“Before the game Coach Scannell called the team up and gave us one objective: “˜find a way to win,'” Haaland said. “OLLU is always a good ball club with good players. It was great to see Trevor Griffin go out there and pitch the way he did. He was locked in, didn’t over do anything, and most importantly trusted his game.”

This 11-3 victory over OLLU was Griffin’s first victory of the season. Griffin, who was named SCAC pitcher of the week and made D3baseball.com’s Team of the Week, retired 19 straight batters in the span of the game. He attributes his defensive success in this game to his teammates and to pitching coach Dave Smith.

“I was happy that I was given an opportunity that I was able to take advantage of and help our team get a much-needed win. The support I received from my teammates throughout the game and after the game was incredible and I’m extremely grateful to be apart of a team that has such awesome teammates and coaches,” Griffin said. “You could say that pitching is one of the more individually based efforts you’ll see in the game of baseball but the fact of the matter is that a pitcher would be nothing without their teammates playing around them.”

“It was exciting to see the team that we are capable of being, with Trevor dominating on the mound and the defense playing well behind him as well as the offense putting up crooked numbers in the last few innings,” Pecoraro said.

This past weekend also marked a celebratory event for the Tigers, as the team was awarded their rings for last season’s victory at the Division III Men’s College World Series. It was a weekend that allowed the defending champions to truly celebrate their victory together for the first time.

“Getting our rings this weekend was incredible,” Haaland said. “The entire team came back for the ceremony. Obviously winning the National Championship is great and it is an honor to bring Trinity its first baseball championship. We never really had an opportunity to celebrate winning because guys go off for summer ball or jobs, so it was great getting everyone back together to celebrate as a team.”

“President Danny Anderson helped ensure that the entire team was presented a championship ring not just the fraction of guys who ended up traveling during the championship run, which is an incredible gesture that I know the whole team is grateful for,” Griffin said. “It was great to see all of the guys together from last year’s entire team and with their families back at the field. The reason I emphasize “˜entire’ is because it really took the entire team to work together and achieve the level of success that we all ultimately saw with the championship.”  

Despite the past week’s success OLLU and the celebration of the World Series title, the Tigers have their work cut out for them. In a team full of talented players stooped with high expectations, the primarily young team has faced challenges regarding consistency throughout the start of the season.

“We have a young team,” Haaland said. “Baseball is a game that rewards you when you can take care of the small details. This team is young so consistency is our biggest challenge, but the talent level is there. We can get things turned around if we can continue to be in the moment, focus on a consistent approach to the game, and operate as a unit.”

The older members of the team see the potential among the team and are eager to play up to their ability.

“As a “˜younger and more inexperienced’ team compared to the previous years seen with Trinity baseball, we have grown an exponential amount thus far this season and now we need to continue to grow and build on what we saw and how we played in this last game against OLLU,” Griffin said. “At this point I think our biggest challenge as a team will be to keep playing to our full potential. There is no doubt in my mind that our team is extremely talented and capable of doing anything we put our minds to.”

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