Trinity Baseball Loses Pair Of Close Contests Against Bates

Colby Fortin '20 pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief
Colby Fortin '20 pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief

Hartford, Conn. - Sophomore Zach Avila (San Francisco, Calif.) went 3-for-7 and drove in the game-winning RBI in the seventh inning of each game to lead the visiting Bates College Bobcats to a 5/4-3/3 doubleheader sweep of the Trinity College Bantams in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) East Division baseball action this afternoon at Murren Family Field in DiBenedetto Stadium.  Trinity drops to 13-13 overall and ends its NESCAC East Division slate at 7-5.  Bates improves to 14-12 overall and into a tie with Tufts for first place in the division at 6-3, as the Bobcats sweep the weekend series thanks to an 8-7 triumph over the Bantams yesterday.  

Trinity led the opening game, 3-1, heading into the final inning of the scheduled seven-inning affair, but the Bobcats scored four times in their final turn at bat.  Trinity scored twice in the second inning, as sophomore C Alex Rodriguez (South Windsor, Conn.) and senior CF Brendan Pierce (Hingham, Mass.) doubled and scored.  Bates scored its first run in the fourth inning when sophomore Jack Arend (Newfields, N.H.) led off with a single and scored on a ground ball, but the Bantams answered in the bottom of the fourth when senior 2B Cooper Mooney (Southbury, Conn.) smacked a leadoff double and scored on a double play. 

Trinity sophomore RHP Alex Shafer (Baltimore, Md.) was smooth through 6.1 innings, but two walks, a wild pitch, and a single by freshman Noah Loughlin (Mililani, Hawaii) loaded the bases with one out in the top of the seventh.  Bantam senior LHP McLane Hill (Marlborough, Conn.) relieved Shafer, but walk by Arend and a two-run single by Avila gave the visitors a 4-3 lead. Arend scored the fifth Bates run on a passed ball, and Bobcat senior co-captain LHP Jake Shapiro (Sandy, Utah) saved it with two strikeouts in the bottom of the seventh.  Shafer fell to 4-3, allowing seven hits and four runs with two walks and three K's, while Pierce finished 2-for-3 at the plate.  Avila was 3-for-4, and Bates sophomore Nolan Collins (Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.) improved to 2-2 on the hill with four hits and runs allowed, three walks, and five strikeouts over six innings.

Bates took a 3-0 lead early in the second game thanks to a three-run homer off the right-field foul pole by junior Dan Trulli (Melrose, Mass.) in the top of the first inning.  Trinity got one run back in the third frame on a walk by junior 1B Johnny Stamatis (Ridgefield, Conn.) and an RBI triple by Mooney, and another in the fourth when Pierce led off with a double, stole third, and scored on a sacrifice fly by classmate Tyler Forgione (North Branford, Conn.).  The Bantams pulled even in the sixth inning off senior reliever Connor Speed (San Diego, Calif.) when Forgione was hit by a pitch and pinchrunner Geoff Stillman (Scituate, Mass.) scored on a wild pitch.  

Trinity senior RHP Dan Marini (Nahant, Mass.) cruised in second thru sixth innings, but loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh on a single by sophomore Kyle Carter (Plantation, Fla.) and a pair of free passes.  Sophomore southpaw Colby Fortin (Bow, N.H.) relieved Marini, but walked Avila to force home the go-ahead run before getting out of the jam without further damage.  Trinity had runners in scoring position in each of the final three innings, but could not push the tying run across.  Mooney doubled in the seventh, and junior Ben Reinisch (Troy, N.H.) was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a ground ball in the eighth but the clutch hit eluded the Bantams late. Shapiro yielded a walk to sophomore SS Matt Koperniak (Adams, Mass.) and a line-drive single up the middle by Mooney in the ninth stanza, but Bantam sophomore Mack Lauder (Chappaqua, N.Y.) hit into a game-ending double play on a hard-hit grounder to third base.

Marini took the loss for his first decision of the spring, allowing five hits and four runs with three walks and four K's, while Speed improved to 2-3 despite allowing the game-tying run in his only inning of work in relief of Bobcat starter Justin Foley (Lynnfield, Mass.).  Foley scattered eight hits and allowed two runs with one walk and five strikeouts, while Shapiro collected his third save of the weekend and his sixth of the year.  Mooney had a monster game at the plate with three singles, a double, and a triple in five at-bats, while Pierce was 2-for-4.  Senior Connor DiVincenzo (Westwood, Mass.) was 2-for-2 with two walks offensively for the Bobcats.