Tomcats pound out season-high 19 hits in 10-5 win over Redhawks

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Thiel College baseball team registered a season-high 19 hits, slugging their way past the La Roche College Redhawks 10-5 Monday.

With the win, Thiel improves to 5-4, while the Redhawks fall to 8-6.

Four Tomcats collected three hits each, and eight of nine starters collected at least one hit in the win. Sophomore first baseman Trent Smith (Franklin, Pa./Franklin) hit 3-for-5 with two doubles and three runs driven in and sophomore designated hitter Sam Passafiume (Medina, Ohio/Medina) went 2-for-5 with a home run, the first of the season for Thiel, and drove in three as the Thiel offense tallied its fifth double-digit hit total this season.

In addition to Smith and Passafiume, junior shortstop Cody Trinch (Franklin, Pa./Franklin), sophomore left fielder Bryan Mitchell (Cleveland, Ohio/Padua Franciscan) and sophomore second baseman Josh Doody (Grove City, Pa. /Grove City) each recorded three hits.

Thiel exploded for six runs in the top of the eighth inning to take a commanding lead, 10-3. Senior right fielder Nick Schiavoni (Boiling Spring, Pa./Trinity) started the inning by getting hit by a pitch before sophomore catcher Dan Koller (Euclid, Ohio/Lake Catholic) moved Schiavoni to second with a bunt single. Another bunt single, this time by sophomore third baseman Brian Genco (Strongsville, Ohio/Strongsville) loaded the bases for the Tomcats with no outs. Freshman center fielder Austin Van Hoy (Ocean Side, Calif./Ocean Side) continued the bunt brigade, laying down a perfect bunt single to score Schiavoni and Koller. After the Redhawk defense doubled up the Thiel runner on first on a fly ball to right, Mitchell singled. Smith crushed his second double of the contest, scoring both Mitchell and Genco to make it 8-3 in favor of the visitors. Thiel wasn't done, however, as Passifume connected on a two-run shot, scoring Smith and trotting around the bases to put the Tomcats ahead, 10-3.

La Roche added a run in the eighth and again threatened in the ninth, but managed just one run before the 27th Redhawk was retired.

Freshman pitcher Kevin Forrester (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan) earned his first collegiate win on the hill after working two scoreless innings, allowing just two hits while striking out three.

Sophomore right-hander Adam Rousseau took the loss in relief for La Roche and went two and two-thirds innings, allowing six runs, three of which were earned, on nine hits.

Thiel produced the first runs of the ballgame in the top of the third to go up 2-0. With no outs and two on base, Doody singled to score Genco and the Tomcats later utilized the double steal, as Mitchell scooped second and Van Hoy stole home to stake Thiel to an early 2-0 advantage.

La Roche answered in the bottom of the third with a run on two hits to trim Thiel's lead to 2-1.
The Redhawks climbed back to tie the score at 2-2, scoring on a balk, in the bottom of the fourth.
The Tomcats regained the lead at 3-2 in the top of the fifth when Smith roped a double that scored Mitchell from second.

Thiel added to their lead with a RBI-single by Passafiume in the top of the seventh, and broke open the contest with the aforementioned six run eighth.

The Tomcats will (hopefully) be back in action tomorrow, March 18, when they travel to Alliance, Ohio to take on the Mount Union Purple Raiders. First pitch is tentatively scheduled for 3:30 p.m.