AUBURNDALE, Fla.—The Trine baseball team opened its 2017 campaign by sweeping a doubleheader against Minnesota-Morris at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational on Monday afternoon.
Trine opened with an 8-5 victory and followed with a 10-2 win in game two. The Thunder opens with a 2-0 record. The Cougars are 0-4 for the season.
Zachary Schulte (Sterling Heights, Mich./Warren Cousino) led the Thunder offense going five-for-eight at the plate with three RBI. Nick Ricci (Hebron, Ind./Crown Point) went four-for-four with three RBI. Jake LaBounty (Avon, Ind./Covenant Christian) also hit in three runners. Vinny Slobodecki (Carol Stream, Ill./Glenbard North) and Ben Wheaton (Kalamazoo, Mich./Hackett Catholic Central) each earned a win for the Thunder.
Game One: Trine 8, Minnesota-Morris 5
In the bottom of the first, Shulte singled and advanced to third with Drew Palmer (Hartford, Wisc./Hartford Union) and LaBounty walking. Ricci drove in Shulte with a sac fly to right field.
The Cougars answered in the second with four runs off five hits. Chandler Erickson drove in two runs.
Colton Conn opened the bottom of the third with a single and moved to second with a walk by Schulte. Both runners advanced when Palmer reached first on an error. LaBounty knocked in the first run of the inning. Ricci and Zach Seder both walked before the Cougars brought Tyler Hannan in to pitch. With two outs, Chase Mahoy (Darlington, Ind./North Montgomery) walked to earn an RBI. Chase Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans) drove in two more runs with a single to put Trine ahead 5-4.
The Thunder added another run in the bottom of the fourth off a single by Ricci. Minnesota-Morris followed in the top of the fifth with Donnie Mavencamp driving in a run.
Trine scored its final run in the bottom of the sixth to secure the win.
Wheaton pitched five innings to earn the win. Jacob Stauffer (Elkhart, Ind./Concord) came in to pitch two innings.
Game Two: Trine 10, Minnesota-Morris 2
The Thunder scored 10 runs off 17 hits in game two. The Cougars notched two runs off six hits.
The Cougars opened scoring in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead. The Thunder answered in the top of the fourth driving in seven runs. Trine grabbed another two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth.
Schulte, LaBounty, Ricci and Kevin O'Malley (Commerce Township, Mich./Walled Lake Central) each notched three hits for the Thunder. Schulte had a game-high three RBI, while LaBounty and Chris Frantz (Niles, Mich./Niles) each drove in two.
Slobodecki pitched six innings for the Thunder earning the win, striking out two batters. Shaun Seigneur (Grove City, Ohio/Central Crossing) came in to pitch one inning with two strikeouts.
The Thunder will continue action at the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational on Tuesday. Trine will play a doubleheader against Utica at 9:30 a.m. in Winter Haven, Fla.