Thunder Swept by Mount St. Joseph on Opening Day

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AUBURNDALE, Fla.-- The Trine baseball team dropped its first two games of the season as Mount St. Joseph scored the winning runs in their last at-bat twice to sweep the Thunder.

The Lions earned a walk-off 2-1 victory in game one before scoring four runs in the eighth to take the nightcap in extra innings. Shortstop Matt Hoffman rapped out five hits and drove in a pair of runs to lead MSJ. Thunder hurler Andy Farrell (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio/St. Vincent St. Mary) did not surrender an earned run in six-plus innings despite being charged with the loss in game one. Trine opens the season 0-2. Mount St. Joseph remained perfect at 7-0 on the year.

Game One: Mount St. Joseph 2, Trine 1

The Thunder struck first, but a pair of unearned runs in the late innings brought the Lions back to earn the victory.

A leadoff triple by Drew Palmer (Hartford, Wis./Hartford Union) put Trine in business in the top of the third. Palmer would later score on a double play to put the Thunder up 1-0.

A throwing error put runners at the corners with one out in the bottom of the fourth. A Ryan McCauley single through the left side knotted the score at 1-1.

MSJ took advantage of a passed ball to move runners to second and third with one out in the bottom of the seventh. After Jake Weimer (Pittsboro, Ind./Brownsburg) was able to get a big strikeout, an infield single off the bat of Hoffman allowed the winning run to score with two outs.

Farrell gave the Thunder six-plus innings of five-hit ball as he did not allow an earned run. The junior walked three and struck out three.

Hoffman also picked up the victory on the mound for MSJ with an inning of shutout relief work.

Game Two: Mount St. Joseph 9, Trine 5

Four runs in the eighth capped off the comeback for the Lions as they fought back from an early five-run deficit to earn the victory.

The Thunder bats came out on fire in game two to put up four runs in the first inning. A two-run double by J.J. LaBounty got the scoring started. A balk brought in another run before a sac fly by Robert Ross (Valparaiso, Ind./Washington Township) capped off the scoring in the inning. 

Trine was able to tack on another run in the second when Dean Klann (Dowagiac, Mich./Dowagiac Union) scored on another balk.

MSJ was able to tie things up with a three-run third and two more runs in the fourth. Three RBI-singles provided the scoring in the third, while an RBI-triple by Darren Sackett highlighted the fourth.

The two teams would trade zeroes until the top of the eighth, when the Lions pushed across four runs to earn the victory. All of MSJ's runs in the eighth were unearned. Hoffman and Nick Browning each picked up run-scoring hits in the inning.

Freshmen Jason Hoida (Niles, Mich./Niles) and Zachary Schulte (Sterling Heights, Mich./Warren Cousino) each picked up their first collegiate hits in game two for the Thunder.

Trine returns to action tomorrow with a single, nine-inning game against Muskingum. First pitch is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.