April 29, 2012

Trine Ties School Record for Wins in Sweep

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. - With their sweep, the Trine University baseball team tied a school record for wins in a season as they defeated Kalamazoo College 8-3 and 3-2. The Thunder are now 22-14 on the season and 16-8 in the MIAA.

The opening game saw the Thunder jumped out to the early lead and never looked back as they plated all the runs they would need in the top of the first, all coming with at least one out. Junior Matt Zurbriggen (Crown Point, Ind./Crown Point) started things off with a double to left center. Senior Ryan smith (Danville, Ind./Danville) would then single to bring home Zurbriggen. Smith would then score on an error by the Hornets second baseman.

After a walk to junior Tom Wilder (Petersburg, Mich./Summerfield), senior Craig Rinkes (Medina, Ohio/Medina) scored a run on an infield single. Then with two outs, senior Brian Hoeper (Angola, Ind./Angola) walked to load the bases. Freshman Ethan Prebynski (Auburn, Ind./DeKalb) would plate a run when he singled to right for what would be the game-winner.

Trine added a run in the second started by a two-out single from junior Steve Cornett (Bremen, Ind./Bremen). A walk to Wilder, followed by another single by Rinkes plated the run.

The Trine offense added another run in the third with a leadoff double by Hoeper. Senior Josh Rivera (Somonauk, Ill./Somonauk) would then plate Hoeper on a single through the left side.

The run scoring would continue for the Thunder in the fourth as Wilder led off the inning with a single. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, Wilder would be brought home on an error by Kalamazoo.

Kalamazoo's only runs would come in the fifth, all started by a Trine error. With two outs, the Hornets would score all three runs on another Trine error.

The Thunder escaped trouble in the sixth as Kalamazoo loaded the bases with one out, but junior Phil Stakely (Ostrander, Ohio/Buckeye Valley) came on to get the Hornets batter to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Trine would tack on another run in the seventh with two outs. Zurbriggen walked and advanced to second on a throwing error on a pickoff attempt. Smith would then deliver an RBI single through the left side to score the game's final run.

Rinkes had a solid game at the plate going 3-4 with three RBI. Smith collected two hits while driving in two and scoring once. Wilder, Zurbriggen and Cornett each scored two runs.

On the mound, freshman Braxton Siddons (Churubusco, Ind./Churubusco) earned his fourth win, lasting 4 1/3 innings, allowing three unearned runs on one hit while striking out three. Junior Nick Cocanower (Elkhart, Ind./Concord) pitched an inning of relief allowing a hit and a walk. Stakely came on to earn his first save of the season, pitching the final 1 2/3 innings and allowing just one hit.

Both teams scored early in game two as the first three innings would provide the only runs of the game

Trine once again struck first, scoring twice in the first inning. Rivera led things off with a walk and sophomore Ben Witter (Naples, Fla./Golden Gate) followed with a bunt single. After a wild pitch moved both runners up, an RBI groundout by freshman R.J. Flowers (Hamilton, Mich./Hamilton) scored Rivera. Siddons followed with a single to center, scoring the other run.

In the second, Prebynski led off with a single down the line and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a groundout by Rivera advance the runner to third, Witter knocked a single to left to score what would be the game winning run.

Kalamazoo answered with a run in the second with two outs. The Hornets would use a leadoff single in the third to plate another run. Trine starter, sophomore Mike Sentman (Batavia, Ill./Batavia), shut Kalamazoo down from there as he didn't allow a hit in the fourth, fifth or sixth innings.

In the seventh, Sentman retired the first two batters he faced before the Thunder allowed the tying run to reach on an error. Sophomore Jeremy Spalding (Toledo, Ohio/Toledo Central Catholic) came on to strike out the only batter he faced to earn his conference-leading ninth save of the season.

Sentman finished the day allowing four hits and two earned runs while striking out five batters.

Freshman Jordan Bear (Fort Wayne, Ind./Leo) led the Thunder at the plate going 3-4 in the game with two doubles. Witter and Siddons each collected two hits and an RBI while Flowers drove in Trine's other run.

Trine will take the week off for final exams before returning to action against defending conference champion Adrian College on the road for a doubleheader beginning at 2:00 p.m. on May 4.

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