A.J. Alexio‘s two-run double in the bottom of the fifth inning put the Trinity Baptist College Eagles ahead, and Austin Hiller and Dan Richard finished the job on the mound as the Eagles came from behind to win Game 2 of a Saturday double-header with NAIA Truett-McConnell University. Alexio’s double gave Trinity a 3-2 victory.
With Christian Draper on second and Kelvin George on first, Alexio laced a line drive past a diving center fielder. Draper (pinch-hit singe) scored easily, and the speedster George (bunt single) raced around from first with the eventual game-winning run.
Alexio was 1 for 3 with 2 RBI in the game and 3 for 6 with 4 RBI and a run scored overall in the double-header.
Truett-McConnell threatened to tie the score in the seventh. A walk, a throwing error, a single, and a stolen base put runners at second and third with only one out. Josh Johnston put down a safety squeeze, but reliever Richard scooped the ball and flipped to catcher David Hall in one motion; Hall tagged Evan Bensch in front of the plate for the second out.
A walk then loaded the bases, but Richard got the final hitter to ground to second, where Matt Carter started a 4-6 force out to end the game and preserve the win.
Austin Hiller pitched three scoreless innings of three-hit ball in relief to earn the win. He walked only one man and fanned two. Hiller entered with runners on second and third and one out in the top of the third and induced two ground balls to second without the runners advancing. Richard pitched the final two-thirds for the save after getting out of a jam.
Trinity got on the board with a run in the fourth. Jeremy Rivera reached on an error; he then advanced to second on a wild pitch and third on a ground ball. He eventually scored on Carter’s RBI groundout to cut a 2-0 deficit in half.
Nick Mackedon, who also relieved in Game 1, started and pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits while walking three and striking out two.
Truett’s Greg Elder held Trinity hitless until the fifth. He struck out nine Eagles, walked four, hit one, and allowed three runs, two of them earned. Austin Bishop was 3 for 5 with two runs scored on the day, Andrew Fogarty drove in two, and James Civelli combined for a 2-for-4/1-RBI performance in the double-header. Craig Barton pitched four scoreless two-hit innings to win Game 1 in relief.
In Game 1, Trinity jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first two innings. Alexio’s first-inning single scored George (single, stolen base) and Jon Shiver‘s sacrifice fly brought in Alexio. Hall and Jordan Keys each scored in the second on a single from Bryan Lopez and a sacrifice fly from George.
Trinity got two hits each from Alexio, Richard, and Keys while George, Shiver, Hall, and Lopez all hit safely as well.
Truett-McConnell, though scored five unanswered runs and came from behind to win 5-4. Truett scored one in the fourth and two in each of the sixth and seventh innings. Only three of those runs were earned.
The Eagles will next participate in the annual Russ-Matt Showcase in Winter Haven, Florida, from March 2-10. The seven games will see Trinity play two each with Mt. Vernon Nazarene University (Mount Vernon, OH) and Missouri Valley College (Marshall, MO) and single games with Grace Bible College (Wymong, MI), Aquinas College (Grand Rapids, MI), and Trinity Christian College (Palos Heights, IL).
–Raymond Bureau, TBC