Trinity walks off with title

More news about: Trinity (Conn.)

Trinity piles it on.

Trinity (Conn.) celebrates its victory against Johns Hopkins for the national championship.
Photo by Ashlee Carmody for

Johns Hopkins denied Trinity (Conn.) its attempt for the perfect season, but the Bantams (45-1) walked away with the championship anyway, ending the winner-take-all game with consecutive bases-loaded walks to win the 2008 Division III national championship 5-4 and the No. 1 spot in the Top 25.

"We met our final goal," said Trinity coach Bill Decker. "I just want to tip my hat to Johns Hopkins. We had two great ball games."

"We battled all day," said Johns Hopkins coach Bob Babb. "We lost to a very good team but it was a disappointing way to lose."

After a pair of singles and a stolen base gave Trinity runners on second and third, Chandler Barnard was intentionally walked to load the bases with Johns Hopkins leading 3-2.

"[Barnard] had given us trouble," said Babb. "He was a clutch player with the bat. I did not want him to beat us. I thought we had a chance to get the next guy"

But reliever Matt Wiegand walked Matt Sullivan to tie the game and senior Guy Gogliettino, who fouled off six 2-2 pitches, worked a walk for the game-winning RBI.

"I just went up there trying to make contarct and swing at strikes," said Gogliettino. "Bases loaded with two outs, I knew a walk was all we needed."

As in the previous two meetings, Trinity tallied the first runs on the board. In the second inning, Barnard singled up the middle and advanced to second on a pass ball. Matt Sullivan's triple would bring in one run and he would score on Tim Bourdon's sacrifice fly.

"At the end of the day we had two seniors in Matt Sullivan and [Gogliettino] step up big time. Sometimes it is difficult to sit and the difference is minimal between playing and not playing, but they were patient."

Johns Hopkins would get one run back in the third when Matt Benchener homered down the left field line. This would be all the scoring until the eight inning.

In the eighth inning, Nate Adelman started the rally by singling up the middle. Brian Youchak would reached on an error by Ryan Piacentini, with Adelman advancing to third. Youchak then stole second. Rob Pietroforte tripled down the right field line to put the Blue Jays ahead 4-3.

Trinity had the answer in the bottom of the inning. James Wood Singled and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Barnard's singled to center field and Wood was out on a strong throw by Pietroforte. Johns Hopkins pitcher, Ryan Kealy, overthrew the first baseman allowing Barnard to advance to second. Matt Stafford, pinch hitting for Bourdon, would deliver the tying run, setting up the dramatic ninth inning.

In the ninth, Johns Hopkins would take the lead on two singles by Margve and Solomon to get runners at the corners. Benchener would get the run home with a sacrifice fly to make the score 4-3.

Starting pitcher Chez Angeloni of Johns Hopkins was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament. He was joined by teammates 1B Matt Benchener, 3B Todd Emr, P Ryan Kealy, and OF Jon Solomon. Two members of the team were from the 2008 champions. The Trinity (Conn.) players on the team were P/DH Chandler Barnard and P Tim Kiely. The remainder of the team included Garrett Dorn from Linfield and a trio from UW-Whitewater, Joe Munn, OF Ben Prather, and 3B Kevin Zalnis.