Hartford, Conn. – After falling, 15-8, in game one on Friday, the Trinity College baseball team came away with a clutch doubleheader sweep on Saturday to take the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) East series against the Bowdoin College Polar Bears over the weekend at Murren Family Field at DiBenedetto Stadium. Trinity, who now owns sole possession of first place in the NESCAC East, improves to 9-9 on the year and 4-2 in conference play while Bowdoin falls to 9-9 overall and 3-3 in league action. The Bantams return to the diamond on Tuesday of the coming week for an inter-divisional matchup against the Williams College Ephs in Williamstown, Mass.
Trinity sophomore Alex Shafer (Baltimore, Md.) picked up his third win of the year on the bump, going the distance in the seven inning game while striking out six and allowing just a single walk.
The Bantams jumped out to an early 2-0 lead thanks to a pair of runs during the team's first at bats. Senior 2B Cooper Mooney (Southbury, Conn.) got things going with an RBI-single that scored junior 3B Tyler Buckley (Mt. Kisco, N.Y.). Mooney later scored on a double-steal, crossing the plate after sophomore SS Matt Koperniak (Adams, Mass.) swiped second and drew a throw from the catcher, allowing Mooney to take home.
Connor Lee (Bedford, N.H.) drove in Bowdoin's first run of the game in the top of the second before coming across to score on an RBI-single in the fifth by James McCarthy (Marblehead, Mass.) to tie things at 2-2.
Trinity exploded for a five-run sixth inning to put the game away. Senior captain RF Christian Orsini (Livingston, N.J.) scored on a hard-hit ball to third base by classmate Ryan Vultaggio (Vero Beach, Fla.) to reclaim the lead for the Bantams. Senior Tyler Forgione (North Branford, Conn.) followed with a pinch-hit, RBI base knock before 1B Johnny Stamatis (Ridgefield, Conn.) added an RBI on a groundout to make it 6-2 in favor of the hosts. Sophomore C Alex Rodriguez (South Windsor, Conn.) capped off the inning with a two-run single before Shafer struck out two Polar Bears and induced a fly out to center to seal the victory.
The Bantams won game two thanks to timely hitting and a gutsy team pitching effort as rookie Justin Olson (Avon, Conn.) picked up his second career victory in relief while junior southpaw Erik Mohl (Milton, Mass.) collected the save after senior McLane Hill (Marlborough, Conn.) turned in a gutsy performance in relief.
Joe Gentile (Groton, Mass.) got things started for Bowdoin, driving in a run in the third inning on an RBI-single. Trinity answered in the home half, however, when Mooney scored Buckley on a single to the outfield.
Colby Joncas (Londonderry, N.H.) grabbed the lead for the Polar Bears in the fourth thanks to an run-scoring base hit but Trinity came back with three runs in the bottom of the inning thanks to an RBI off the bat of Rodriguez before a two-run single by senior Carter Snyder (Lemont, Ill.).
Bowdoin scored in the top of the sixth to make it a one-run ballgame, 4-3, but an unearned run in the sixth, scored by Stamatis, gave the Bantams some breathing room. Hill found trouble in the seventh and eighth, but held his ground as he kept Bowdoin from cutting into the lead which gave way to Mohl in the ninth. Mooney laced a run-scoring double in the home half of the eighth to stretch Trinity's lead to three runs before Mohl struck out Brandon Lopez (Amesbury, Mass.) and induced a double play to end things as the Bantams came away with the twinbill sweep.