Lexington S.C. – The Trinity College Bantams and the Case Western Reserve University Spartans combined for 18 runs in the ninth inning, but the Spartans scored 12 of the 18 and handed the Bantams a 16-8 loss in their 2018 baseball season opener at Lexington County Stadium this afternoon. Trinity junior starter Erik Mohl (Milton, Mass.) yielded just a run and six hits with five strikeouts over six innings and senior outfielder Brendan Pierce (Hingham, Mass.) went 2-for-3 with two walks and a pair of RBI. Trinity will play two tomorrow, beginning with a 2 p.m. game against the University of Rochester Yellowjackets and ending with a 6 p.m. game against the Roger Williams University Hawks. Case Western Reserve improves to 5-1 with its third victory in a row. The Bantams and the Spartans will face each other twice more this week on both Friday and Saturday night.
Trinity struck first when sophomore Matt Koperniak (Adams, Mass.) smacked a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Case Western responded quickly in the top of the sixth frame when Jacob Kucia led off with a pinch-hit single and later scored on a single by Nate Glasser. Pierce gave the lead right back to Trinity with an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth. The Spartans scored three times in the seventh inning off Trinity reliever Andrew DeRoche (North Reading, Pa.), who took the loss in his collegiate debut, on an RBI single by Kucia and a two-run wild pitch. Trailing, 4-2, the Bantams allowed 12 runs on nine hits and three walks in the ninth inning. The Trinity offense managed to score six runs in the bottom of the final frame on a two-run triple by senior Matt Toth (New Canaan, Conn.), a pair of bases-loaded walks, and a run-scoring single by rookie Eric Thronson (McLean, Va.). Trinity scored its eight runs on just six hits, taking advantage of 11 Spartan walks. The Bantam hurlers walked seven and hit four others with pitches, while allowing 17 hits. The teams also combined to hit into 11 double plays and made two errors each in the field.