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Trinity Baseball Splits Doubleheader With Wesleyan on Final Day of Regular Season

Cooper Mooney '18
Cooper Mooney '18

Hartford, Conn. - After falling, 6-5, in game one, the Trinity College Baseball team came back with a 7-6 victory in game two to split a doubleheader with the Wesleyan University Cardinals on the final day of the regular season at Murren Family Field at DiBenedetto Stadium in Hartford. The Bantams end their season with an 18-15 overall record while Wesleyan moves to 21-14 on the year. Between games, Trinity celebrated the 10th anniversary of the 2008 National Championship squad that put together a historic, 45-1 season, to capture the program's lone NCAA title.

Trinity jumped out to a 4-0 lead in game one but fell down the stretch after a late Cardinals rally. The Bantams got on the board first in the bottom of the second when senior CF Brendan Pierce (Hingham, Mass.), who led off with a leadoff walk, stole second before swiping third and coming home to score on an errant throw by Wesleyan's catcher. Trinity added two more runs in the following inning on RBI-singles by sophomore SS Matt Koperniak (Adams, Mass.) and senior 2B Cooper Mooney (Southbury, Conn.). Senior LF Matt Toth (New Canaan, Conn.) led the inning off with a double before rounding the plate on Koperniak's single while Mooney drove home Junior 3B Tyler Buckley (Mt. Kisco, N.Y.) following Koperniak's RBI.

Senior captain RF Christian Orsini (Livingston, N.J.) doubled in the fourth to set up Trinity's fourth run of the ballgame as sophomore C Alex Rodriguez (South Windsor, Conn.) roped a base hit to score Orsini and put the Bantams ahead, 4-0 after four.

Wesleyan got two runs back in the fifth inning when Jake Alonzo (Haddam, Conn.) scored on a wild pitch before Tanner Fulkerson (Longmont, Colo.) came around on an RBI-ground out by Kevin Walek (White Bear Lake, Minn.). The Bantams responded, however, with a run in the home half of the inning when Koperniak hit a line drive over the right field fence to push Trinity's lead to 5-2.

In the sixth inning, the Cardinals chipped away at the lead with an RBI-single by Ryan Earle (Hanover, Mass.) that scored Andrew Kauf (Boonton Township, N.J.) who reached earlier in the inning on a double. Wesleyan scored three more times in the top of the seventh thanks to an RBI-triple by Jesse Levy-Rubinett (Austin, Texas), a run-scoring ground out by Kauf and an RBI-single by Danny Rose (Ipswich, Mass.) to jump ahead to a 6-5 lead. Alonzo came on to pitch in the bottom half of the inning and retired the side in order to seal the victory and pick up the win on the bump for the Cardinals.

Both sides went back and forth in the second game before three runs from Trinity in the bottom of the eighth sealed the game two victory for the hosts. Wesleyan jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the third thanks to an RBI-single by Matt Jeye (Holliston, Mass.) before an RBI-ground out by Fulkerson in the fourth put the visitors ahead, 2-0. The Bantams scored three times in the following half inning to claim a 3-2 lead after senior LF Ryan Vultaggio (Vero Beach, Fla.) scored on a wild pitch, followed by a sac-fly off the bat of senior DH Tyler Forgione (North Branford, Conn.) and a Wesleyan miscue that scored Toth.

A Fulkerson double and Kauf single in the sixth inning gave Wesleyan a one-run lead once again before Vultaggio scored on a double-steal in the home half to knot things at 4-4. After a scoreless seventh inning, the Cardinals once again took the lead in the eighth when Walek grounded out to short, scoring Fulkerson and Chase Pratt (Rye, N.Y.), the latter of who took home on an aggressive display of base-running.

Trinity proved resillent in the following half inning, plating three runs to set themselves up for the victory. Mooney got things going, scoring on a passed ball before Orsini scored Pierce on a ground ball out to tie the game, 6-6. With junior 1B Johnny Stamatis (Ridgefield, Conn.) at third with one out, Vultaggio came up clutch, driving a fly ball to right field that allowed Stamatis to score on the sac fly. Senior pitcher Dan Marini (Nahant, Mass.) shut the door in the ninth, retiring the side in order, to pick up the victory and salvage the twinbill split.