April 11, 2009

Trinity Sweeps SCAC Weekend Series to Earn Spot in Tournament

San Antonio - The Tiger baseball team swept a three-game SCAC baseball series with the Southwestern University Pirates Saturday  - and qualified for the SCAC Championship tournament - in a 1-0, 10-inning victory at E.M. Stevens Field.

Tiger sophomore center fielder John Paillet singled to the left side and drove in senior pinch runner Jason Ralph with two outs in the 10th inning. Ralph substituted on base for senior left fielder Jordan Pennington, who had drawn a walk.

Trinity (19-17, 10-7 SCAC) will play in the six-team, double-elimination SCAC Championship April 23-26 at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss.. The Tigers, defending SCAC champions, are in second place in the conference  West Division, two games ahead of Southwestern and Hendrix, each tied for third place. The two teams stand at 15-20 and 8-9 SCAC. Millsaps is the division leader with a 30-4 overall record and a 13-4 conference mark.

The Tigers won Friday’s doubleheader 10-0 (seven innings) and the second game 6-2. Trinity and Southwestern split two games in March in Georgetown, Texas, and the Tigers won the season series 4-1.

Saturday’s  2-hour, 40-minute game was definitely a pitcher’s duel. The Tigers had six hits and the Pirates were limited to one.

Tiger junior right-hander Mike Hunter pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed one hit (in the fifth inning), no runs and four walks. He struck out five batters. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Mike Panozzo hurled the final 4 2/3 innings and yielded only one walk, while striking out two hitters. Panozzo earned the win and improved to 5-1.

Trinity’s first hit came in the third inning, as senior second baseman Jeff Claydon singled up the middle. The Tigers had two hits in the fourth inning, singles by senior shortstop Stosh Hoover and Pennington. Sophomore third baseman Kevin Jackson doubled down the right field line in the ninth inning for the fifth hit.

Then came the bottom of the 10th inning. Following Pennington’s walk and Ralph’s substitution, junior first baseman Evan Jones hit a SAC bunt as Ralph advanced to second base. Senior catcher Steven Ramos singled to right field and the speedy Ralph moved to third base. Ramos stole second, followed by Paillet’s game-winning RBI.

Trinity committed three errors and left five players on base. Southwestern made no errors and stranded nine players.

The Tigers will conclude their regular-season home schedule Tuesday by hosting Schreiner University at 7 p.m. in a non-conference game.


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