OLIVET, Mich.—The Trine baseball pitching staff did not give up an earned run in 16 innings as the team swept Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association foe Olivet on Saturday afternoon at the Cutler Athletic Complex.
The Thunder opened the day by shutting out the Comets 12-0, and followed with a 4-1 victory in game two.
Jacob Heller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Prairie Heights) hit his first career homerun in game one where he went 3-for-4 at the plate driving in three runs.
Trine improves to 10-5 overall and 4-2 MIAA, while Olivet falls to 4-14 and 1-5 in conference action.
GAME ONE: Trine 12, Olivet 0
Heller led off for the Thunder in the top of the first inning and grabbed the second pitch of the game to launch his first career homerun over the leftfield fence to put Trine up 1-0 after one inning.
The Thunder bats came alive in the top of the second. Trine scored seven runs off seven hits. Ben Pritchett (Fishers, Ind./Fishers) hit a double, while six Thunder batters notched singles. Chase Hall (Orelans, Ind./Orelans), Heller, Zachary Schulte (Sterling Heights, Mich./Warren Cousino), Jake LaBounty (Avon, Ind./Covenant Christian), Colton Conn (Cincinnati, Ohio/Indian Hill) and Kevin O'Malley (Commerce Township, Mich./Walled Lake Central) all had a RBI for Trine.
In the top of the third, the first three Thunder batters walked before Olivet went to its bullpen. LaBounty drove in his second run of the day, and Conn followed with an RBI off a sac fly to right field. Nick Ricci (Hebron, Ind./Crown Point) drove in the Thunder's third run of the inning with a single to left.
The Thunder scored their 12th run of the game in the top of the sixth.
Heller led the Thunder with three hits and three RBI. LaBounty, Ricci, O'Malley and Pritchett each had two hits. Conn drove in three runs, while LaBounty had two RBI.
Ben Wheaton (Kalamazoo, Mich./Hackett Catholic Central) pitched the full seven innings to earn the win. He improves to 3-1 on the year and struck out three batters.
Conner Murney led Olivet with two hits. Aiden Holliday falls to 0-3 on the year taking the loss for the Comets.
GAME TWO: Trine 4, Olivet 1
Trine and Olivet were scoreless after three complete innings.
Conn led off in the top of the fourth with a single up the middle and was advanced to second off a sacrifice bunt by Pritchett. Drew Palmer (Hartford, Wisc./Hartford Union) drove Conn in with a single to right field, and Palmer advanced to second on the throw. With two outs, Ricci singled through the right side to drive in Palmer and put the Thunder up 2-0.
With Palmer's RBI, he moves into fifth in the Trine record books with 75 career RBI.
In the bottom of the inning, Olivet scored its only run of the game off a Thunder error.
With one out in the top of the eighth, O'Malley came in the game to pinch hit and singled to center. Hall followed with a single through the left side, and the Thunder loaded the bases after Conn walked. With two outs, Hall scored on a wild pitch. The bases were once again loaded after Palmer was intentionally walked. LaBounty was hit by a pitch, scoring a run to lengthen the Thunder's lead to four.
Vinny Slobodecki (Carol Stream, Ill./Glendbard North) pitched four and a third innings starting for the Thunder. Jake Roddy (Angola, Ind./Angola) notched his first career win pitching two innings. Jacob Stauffer (Elkhart, Ind./Concord) earned his second save of the season and struck out three Olivet batters.
Aaron Gillespie led the Comets with two hits. Brady Johnson went seven innings taking the loss. Johnson struck out four Thunder batters.
The Thunder returns to action on Sunday when it wraps up its series against Olivet. The doubleheader begins at 1 p.m.