|Trinity has something that no other D-III proragm in Texas has - a national championship trophy.
By Steve Frommell, d3photography.com
By Austin Walthers
GRAND CHUTE, Wis. -- After making the program’s first appearance in the Championship round in 2015, Trinity (Texas) is now bringing home its first World Series victory and the Tigers are the first team from the state of Texas to win a Division III baseball title.
Head coach Tim Scannell said this is not only a win for his program, but a win for the whole state.
“It’s really good baseball in Texas, we’re isolated,” Scannell said. “I think this is big for everybody there because now they see we can all play on the national stage.”
The success has started over the years with Tim Scannell who just completed his 18th season with Trinity and reached the milestone of 600 wins to put them in the Finals and ended the series with 602.
Scannell is originally from Massachusetts and he wasn’t interested in Division III baseball or the state of Texas, but things have changed and he’s now a well-known face in the area.
“When I got down there I saw how good the Trinity players were, I saw how beautiful the campus was, how awesome San Antonio is,” Scannell said. “From there, we really started building the thing.”
Texas is known as a football sate. Scannell has always been a baseball guy and he said the west coast has a lot more strategy and small ball as opposed to the aggressive style Texas has.
“In Texas it’s much more fastball orientated,” Scannell said. “The kids from Houston, Dallas, they can really handle the bat and they see plus velocity.”
The West Regional has always been known as one of the toughest regions in baseball and the past two years were exactly that way.
In 2015, Trinity finished two games out of first place in the Southern Conference Athletic Conference regular season. They went onto win the conference title and sweep the West Regional to clinch a spot in the Championships.
The states of Division III
|Texas became just the 11th state to have a Division III baseball national champion. New Jersey leads the way with nine titles from five different schools.|
|The rest: Maine 2 (1), Minnesota 2 (1), Oregon 2 (2), Illinois 1, Texas 1|
After losing to UW-La Crosse in the game away from the championship, the Tigers were hungry to get back to Appleton.
Trinity again didn’t have an easy road to get back to the Championships. This year they tied Texas Lutheran for the regular season conference title. After losing to Texas Lutheran by ten on May 9, Trinity started its run for the title and Scannell said he has a very well built team.
“We are just very fortunate,” Scannell said. “When you look at the game of baseball it’s a hit here and a hit there and that’s the difference maker.”
The Tigers closed out the season on a seventeen game winning streak. Fans and family traveled all over to see them in that stretch including the final five in Appleton.
“It’s phenomenal,” Scannell said. “It’s very humbling the fan support we have built at Trinity is amazing. We know there are people all over Texas and the West Coast rooting us on and it feels great.”
On the way to the National Title, Trinity defeated a Midwest team and two East Coast teams twice to represent the West in Appleton.
“We’re proud to represent the West,” Scannell said. “All these regions are great. It’s obvious all you got to do is look around and you see Keystone and you see Cortland State and these are physical teams who can pitch it and do it all, but we’re definitely proud and thankful for this.”
Next year will be another grind in the west, but Trinity knows they have the personnel moving forward.
“We have to rebuild,” Scannell said. “We feel like we have talent in house ready to go so we have to get those guys on the field and rep them out and then they have to get experience through live play and we feel like we can compete at a national level again.”