April 5, 2009

Trinity Comeback Falls Short in Wild Loss at Austin College

Sherman, Texas - The Trinity Tiger baseball team was edged 16-15 by Austin College in the finale of a three-game weekend SCAC series at Baker Field.

Trinity, which won the season series 3-2,  took both games of Saturday’s doubleheader. The teams split two games played in February in San Antonio. The Tigers now stand at 16-16 and 7-7 SCAC, in third place in the conference West Division. Trinity is one game behind second-place Southwestern, and a half-game ahead of fourth-place Hendrix. Austin College (9-20, 4-14 SCAC) is in fifth place. Six teams, three from each of the two divisions, qualify for the SCAC Championship tournament April 23-26 at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss.

Sunday’s game could definitely be described as a slugfest, as Trinity and Austin College combined for 31 runs, 38 hits and seven home runs.

The Kangaroos had built up a huge 9-0 lead after three innings. Then, the Tigers went to work in the top of the fourth and fifth innings, scoring five and three runs, respectively, closing to 8-9.

Tiger junior first baseman Evan Jones swatted a two-out solo home run to right center field in the fourth inning, his fourth homer of the campaign. Jones went 2-5 with and RBI, along with scoring three runs. Senior second baseman Jeff Claydon scored on an error by the left fielder. Sophomore third baseman Kevin Jackson singled to right field and scored sophomore center fielder Dylan Early. Kevin Calbick, a sophomore right fielder, doubled to center field and Jackson crossed home plate. Senior shortstop Stosh Hoover singled to center field, as Calbick scored. Calbick hit 2-6 with one RBI, two runs and two doubles. Hoover went 3-5 with two RBIs.

Claydon, who followed Jones’ walk, homered to right field for the two-run shot in the fifth inning. Claydon, who batted 4-6 with two RBIs and scored three runs, joined Trinity’s 100 career hits list. Senior left fielder Jordan Pennington singled to center field, driving in Jackson for the third run.

The bottom of the fifth inning had Austin College scoring three runs, by a three-run home run to right center by third baseman Bennett Herrick, as the Kangaroos took a 12-8 lead. Herrick hit 4-5 with four RBIs and scored three runs. The Kangaroos added one more run in the sixth inning, on a solo home run by left fielder Jordan Robison.

Trinity put a run on the board in the seventh, as Jackson scored on a SAC fly to center field by Hoover.

Sophomore catcher Kyle Felix cracked the first of his two home runs in the game, a solo to right field in the eighth inning. Felix batted 3-5 with four RBIs and scored two runs. But Austin College took a 16-10 lead, by scoring three runs in the bottom of the inning.

The top of the ninth inning arrived, and the Tigers were ready to meet the challenge. Felix hit his second home run of the game, the sixth of the season, scoring Pennington and Calbick. First-year pinch-hitter Nick Pappas doubled to center field with two outs, as Claydon and Jones scored. With the bases loaded, Hoover reached first base on fielder’s choice, but Calbick was thrown out at second base.

Tiger junior right-hander Mike Hunter was the starting pitcher, and hurled 1 2/3 innings. Hunter took the loss and now stands at 2-2. Fiver other Trinity pitchers took the mound.

Trinity scored 11 earned runs off the four Austin College pitchers, exploded for 23 hits, played an error-free game and left 15 players on base. Austin College produced 16 earned runs, smacked 15 hits, made two errors and stranded five players.

The Tigers return home Tuesday to host Mary Hardin-Baylor at 7 p.m. in a non-conference game at E.M. Stevens Field.


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