photo by Matthew Claybrook
The sixth-ranked Trinity Tiger’s baseball team faced off in a three-game Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) series against Schreiner University from April 18 to April 20. The Tigers emerged victorious in all three games and are now riding a hot streak of six consecutive wins, which they hope to continue into the postseason.
The Tigers opened up the series on Thursday, April 18 with a 6–3 win over Schreiner. At one point during the game, Schreiner held a 2–1 lead, but the Tigers quickly answered thanks to a run batted in (RBI) sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth by junior outfielder Rafe Chaumette, which evened the score at two runs apiece. Senior infielder Logan Morrison eventually gave the Tigers the lead with a two-RBI single in the sixth to make the score 4–2. Schreiner would continue to fight back, even bringing the tying run to the plate in the top of the ninth inning; however, junior pitcher Mark Tindall closed out the game in the ninth inning, earning his third save of the year.
“Going into the Schreiner series, we really needed to focus on each game one at a time and make sure that we won each game to set ourselves up to possibly get an at large bid for the NCAA tournament if it is needed,” said senior outfielder Jake Martin.
The Tigers immediately came back the next day on Friday, April 19, where they again beat Schreiner, this time by a score of 5–4. The score would remain tied until the bottom of the ninth when Trinity finally edged out Schreiner.
The Tigers had runners on second and third base with only one out. Junior Mason Meredith then drew a walk that would have loaded up the bases, but ball four got away from the Schreiner catcher, allowing senior infielder Logan Morrison to score from third base to end the game.
“We knew Schreiner was a competitive team that was going to battle every inning, and they did just that. The games were close and they never let up. Our team did a great job of battling and competing,” Chaumette said.
The Tigers came into the final game of the series on Saturday, April 20, with a two-game lead.
The final game of the series was also senior day for the Trinity Tigers baseball team.
“This weekend was fun because it was senior weekend. There was a lot of family and friends in the stands and there was a lot of good buzz going around the park in the last three days,” said senior pitcher Ian Hussian.
Prior to the game, the team honored their nine seniors: Dalys Binder, Ian Hussian, Logan Morrison, Jake Martin, Brannen Caraway, Jeff Lonnecker, Ryan Manz, Holden Nix and John Tucker.
As it was being Senior Day, the team was extremely motivated for this game, and it showed.
While the previous two games in the series were close games, this one was never in doubt as the Tigers cruised to a 14–2 victory over Schreiner in only seven innings played.
“The series overall went well. We won all three games. The first two were closer than we would have liked them to be, but wins are wins. Our pitchers threw well, and the bats picked up in the third game of the series, which we hopefully can build off of going forward,” said Jake Martin.
By sweeping the series, the Tigers have now won six games in row.
Following their toughest stretch of the year in late March, when the team faced multiple nationally ranked schools and lost four games in a row, the Tigers have now won 13 out of their last 15 games to make a solid push for postseason success.
“We’ve had ups and downs this entire season and lost some battles that we should have won, but we’ve also played some really good teams and beat them, so we can’t complain,” Hussian said.
The Tigers are hitting their stride at the perfect time as the playoffs rapidly approach. While the playoffs are always a challenging period of time, the Tigers remain focused on what they need to do to be successful.
“The season has gone pretty well, but it has just begun. The most important and exciting part of the year is on its way, and I think that the entire team is looking forward to the conference tournament and hopefully a regional,” Chaumette said. “I think this team, with the strong talent on the mound and depth in the lineup, has the potential to make a run, so now is the time where focus is at the upmost importance.”
The Tigers had their last regular season game against McMurry on Tuesday, April 23.
Following this series, the Tigers will start their postseason play by competing in the SCAC Championships on May 3.