ALMA, MICH. -- The Trine University baseball team lost both games of a doubleheader to end the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association series against Alma College, 11-3 and 8-6, at Klenk Park in Alma, Mich.
In game one, the two teams combined to score seven runs in the first inning with three of those runs coming in the top of the inning when Trine (9-13, 2-8 MIAA) scored on a sacrifice fly by junior Thomas Rivet (Howell, Mich./Hartland) and then back-to-back RBI hits that included a double by senior Cale Hall (Orleans, Ind./Orleans) and a single by junior Jake Roddy (Angola, Ind./Angola). But Alma (9-15, 5-7 MIAA) scored four runs in the bottom of the frame with a grand slam to make it a 4-3 game.
The four runs by the Scots in the first were the beginning of a string of 11 unanswered runs that continued in the fifth when Alma platted a run on a double and then blew the game open with a six-run sixth inning en route to claiming an 11-3 win.
Cale Hall was one of two Thunder players to have two or more hits and finished two-of-three overall with a run scored and a RBI. Senior Jacob Heller (Fort Wayne, Ind./Prairie Heights) also had a pair of hits in four at-bats to go along with a run scored. Rivet ended the game with no official hits (0-for-3), but scored the RBI. Roddy's single in the first was his only hit of the game (one-of-three) in addition to his RBI.
A total of four pitchers saw action for Trine in game one with freshman Austin Nuessgen (Beavercreek, Ohio/Beavercreek) getting the start and went four-and-a-third innings. He gave up five runs on five hits and had one strikeout in the loss.
In the final game of the day, both teams scored a run in the first with Trine scoring on a RBI-single by Heller. The Thunder then went on to add a run in the top of the second and third innings that included a solo home run by junior Nick Ricci (Hebron, Ind./Crown Point) in the second and on a pair of defensive errors in the third that allowed Heller to score from first base and made the score 3-1 in favor of Trine.
Alma took control of the game in the bottom of the third with five runs to take the lead by a margin of 6-3. Both teams exchanged runs in the fourth that included a sacrifice fly by Trine's Zach Schulte (Sterling Heights, Mich./Warren Cousino), but the Scots still led by three runs after four innings of play, 7-4.
Trine crept to within a run with two scores in the top of the fifth that began with a single by Heller and then a double by Cale Hall to put runners at second and third base. Two batters later, freshman Brenden Warner (Richland, Mich./Hackett Catholic Prep) singled to center field to score Heller and Cale Hall to cut the deficit to 7-6.
Alma got an insurance run in the bottom half of the eighth on a single with two outs that extended the lead to 8-6. Then in the top of the ninth, the Scot defense got the Thunder to record three straight outs to end the game and hold on for the two-run victory and the doubleheader sweep.
The Trine bats totaled 10 hits in the nightcap and was led by Heller who went three-of-five with two runs scored and a RBI. Ricci ended the game two-of-four at the plate to go along with a pair of runs scored and a RBI. Cale Hall had two hits in five at-bats and also scored a run.
Freshman Robert Webb (Clyde, Ohio/Clyde) started on the hill for the Thunder and was one of five pitchers to see action. Webb pitched two and two-thirds innings and gave up six runs, five earned, on six hits in addition to one strikeout.
Trine will travel to Kalamazoo, Mich. to play the final two games of a MIAA four-game series against Kalamazoo College on Tuesday, Apr. 9. The first game is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.