Baseball Takes Game One of NCAA Regionals With 11-3 Victory Over Salve Regina

Ben Reinisch's '19 first career home run in the first inning helped ignite the Bantams to an 11-3 victory in the first round of the NCAA Regionals
Ben Reinisch's '19 first career home run in the first inning helped ignite the Bantams to an 11-3 victory in the first round of the NCAA Regionals

Hartford, Conn. - Senior SS Ben Reinisch (Troy, N.Y.) crushed his first career home run to tie the game in the first inning and help propel the Trinity College baseball team to an 11-3 win over Salve Regina University on Friday afternoon on the opening day of the 2019 NCAA Division III Regional Tournament at Murren Family Field at DiBenedetto Stadium on Trinity's campus in Hartford. The Bantams, now 28-7 overall, move into the winner's bracket of the double-elimination tournament where they will face Babson College tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. The Seahawks will play Keystone College, which lost to the Beavers in today's first game, 7-3, in an elimination game tomorrow morning at 11 a.m.

The Seahawks struck first in the top of the first when Sean O'Malley (Darien, Conn.) doubled home Zack Smith (New Canaan, Conn.) to open up a 1-0 lead. The lead didn't last for long as the Bantams put up a four spot in the home half of the inning to take a three-run lead after one. Reinisch came up big with a leadoff home run, high over the left field fence, for his first career dinger in game-tying fashion. The scoring didn't stop there as junior RF Matt Koperniak (Adams, Mass.) singled to right, followed by a walk from junior LF Brett Stevenson (Southport, Conn.) to put two on with no out. That brought up senior tri-captain 1B Johnny Stamatis (Ridgefield, Conn.) who crushed a three-run bomb over the right field wall to give the hosts a 4-1 lead.

Both starting pitchers settled in after the first, keeping the scoreboard clean through the next four innings. Bantam junior Andrew DeRoche (North Reading, Mass.) picked up his seventh win of the season thanks to a six inning effort with just one earned run and three strikeouts. Salve Regina southpaw Patrick Maybach (Saunderstown, R.I.) struck out four in 5.1 innings but allowed ten runs, of which only four were earned, to take the loss. 

Trinity scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a commanding, 10-1 lead. Koperniak drove in a pair on a base hit while Trinity took advantage of a pair of Seahawk errors that led to three more runs. Stevenson capped off the inning's scoring with a sacrifice fly to deep-center that brought home Reinisch. 

Senior Tyler Buckley (Mt. Kisco, N.Y.) added Trinity's 11th run of the ballgame in the home half of the seventh with a base knock that scored junior tri-captain C Alex Rodriguez (South Windsor, Conn.) to make it an 11-1 game. Senior tri-captain lefty Erik Mohl (Milton, Mass.) came on in relief of DeRoche and threw two flawless innings including a pair of strikeouts to help keep the Seahawks off the scoreboard. 

Salve managed to scratch a pair of runs across in the top of the ninth but it was too little, too late as the Bantams held on for the win. Anthony Cieszko (Woodcliff Lake, N.J.) came up with two on and one out before driving home a pair of runners on a single to centerfield, but that's as close as it got.

Stamatis, Reinisch and Koperniak each tallied a pair of hits with Stamatis and Koperniak combining for five RBIs. Renisch, Stamatis and Rodriguez each came across to score two times as well. Salve Regina was led offensively by Smith who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored while O'Malley, Cieszko and Dylan Ketch (Clinton, Conn.) all finished with two hits apiece.