Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College baseball team dropped game one, 5-1, before holding on for a 3-2 victory in game two to split a doubleheader with the Westfield State Owls on Saturday afternoon at Jessee/Miller Field in Hartford. Trinity moves to 3-7 on the year while the Owls are now 7-8-1 overall. Trinity returns to action on Tuesday for a non-conference matchup with Salve Regina at home scheduled for a 4 p.m. start time. The game is Trinity's last tune up before next weekend's New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) East opening series with the Tufts University Jumbos in Medford, Mass.
Junior Erik Mohl (Milton, Mass.) took to the bump in game one and scattered six hits across six innings and allowed five runs, however only one was earned. Mohl struck out four and walked just one batter despite being saddled with the loss. His counterpart, Westfield State starter John Gegetskas (Windsor, Conn.) went the distance in the seven inning game, finishing with nine strikeouts to improve to 3-1 on the year. Sophomore SS Matt Koperniak (Adams, Mass.) and senior captain RF Christian Orsini (Livingston, N.J.) were the lone Bantams to finish with multiple hits while Koperniak drove in Orsini in the third for the lone Bantam run.
The Owls took advantage of a Trinity throwing error in the top of the first to jump out to a 1-0 lead before pouring on four more in the top of the second. Jared Ferrari (Waltham, Mass.) stroked an RBI-single to left, scoring Kyle Murphy (Westfield, Mass.), before Anthony Crowley (Bellingham, Mass.) came up later in the inning and cleared the bases with a double down the left field line. Koperniak crushed a single through the right side of the infield in the third to score Orsini, who reached on an infield single, but Gegetskas kept the Bantams off the board for their remaining four at bats to clinch the 5-1 victory.
Trinity bounced back with a victory in game two as sophomore Alex Herbst (Clarendon Hills, Ill.) picked up his first win of the season on the hill, coming on in relief of rookie Max Barsamian (Weston, Mass.) and allowing no runs on just three hits in three innings of work. Orsini once again led the offense with a pair of hits while junior 3B Ben Reinisch (Troy, N.Y.) and first-year C Eric Thronson (McLean, Va.) both picked up a pair of hits as well.
Koperniak proved to be the catalyst, putting the Bantams ahead, 1-0 after one thanks to a one-out, RBI-double that plated senior LF Matthew Toth (New Canaan, Conn.). The Owls responded with an unearned run in the next half inning but Trinity reclaimed the lead in the home half of the second on a sacrifice fly off the bat of junior 1B Johnny Stamatis (Ridgefield, Conn.) that brought home senior DH Carter Snyder (Winnetka, Ill.).
In the top of the fourth, Westfield State tied things once again, this time at 2-2, when John Lippincott (Barkhamsted, Conn.) crossed the plate on a wild pitch. Herbst came on to pitch for Barsamian with two outs in the inning and induced a ground out to third, stranding a pair of runners and ending the threat to keep the game tied. As was the theme of game two, Trinity had an answer for Westfield State's run as Thronson led off the bottom of the fourth with a single before advancing to third two batters later on a wild pitch. Orsini came up big for the Bantams as he brought Thronson home on a deep sac fly to left for what would prove to be the game-winning run.
Things got hairy in the top of the seventh when Herbst hit a batter and then gave up a base knock to Crowley to put the tying run at third and go ahead run at first with two outs. That brought on senior southpaw McLean Hill (Marlborough, Conn.), who blew away Alex Lafayette (Ludlow, Mass.) for the strikeout and final out of the game to pick up his second save of the spring and seal the 3-2 victory for the Bantams.