Tiger baseball has risen to No. 1 in the nation as they approach the middle of the 2018 season. The team now boasts a 19-2 overall record while averaging an astounding 9.5 runs per game.
When we first covered the Trinity baseball program at the start the season, the team was already an impressive 6-0 and showed no signs of slowing down, averaging nearly 10 runs per game and outscoring opponents 53-24.
The momentum has not stopped in any way for the Tigers. The most recent game was the 5-3 win against Texas Lutheran University on March 30. Recently, the team has enjoyed a number of blowout victories, including a 11-1 win against Southwestern University on March 16, a 13-0 win also against Southwestern on the 17 and a staggering 26-4 defeat of Austin College on the 24.
First-year outfielder Jack Vonderhaar commented on the victory over Austin College.
“The Austin College game was a great example of just how good [our] team is,” Vonderhaar said. “Everyone on the team contributed. The starters gave us a great lead and guys off the bench helped score more runs and put it away. When everyone sticks to their approach at the plate and doesn’t try to do too much, there aren’t many teams that can slow our offense down.”
As you’d expect, the clubhouse of the 19-2 Tigers is as close knit as could be. First-year pitcher Corey Cater spoke on how the team’s bonding has been an integral part of the team’s success.
“I think we all play really well together as a team because we are all fighting to make plays for each other. I don’t think the success we have had could be possible without that attitude,” Cater said.
Cater is just coming onto the scene as a first-year player, but he hasn’t felt excluded.
“As a first-year I am thankful that I have the opportunity to contribute right away. It’s been exciting to be a part of this winning ball club. I am also very thankful to be on a team that has been as supportive and welcoming as this team has been,” Cater said.
The team chemistry is quite important to the success of the Tiger baseball program, but there is a limit to how much chemistry can accomplish. All great teams have great talent. Junior pitcher Ian Hussain delivered five scoreless innings in relief of starter Kevin Flores against Texas Lutheran on March 30.
“In terms of pitchers we have a fantastic starting rotation and those guys are just as confident in whoever comes out of the bullpen,” Hussain said.
On his own performance, Hussein was quick to deflect his success.
“In terms of my outing, gotta give credit to Kevin Flores. He battled through those first four innings and showed us again how tough he is,” Hussein said.
It’s been all fun for the Tigers up to this point in the season, but the team is aware that there is still work to be done.
“I think in the second half of [SCAC play] we can just focus on having consistent energy and not getting bogged down,” said junior pitcher Holden Nix.
The team’s next game is on Friday, April 6 at Hardin-Simmons University.