Hartford, Conn. – The Trinity College baseball team defeated the Babson College Beavers, 12-3, in the first game of the final day of the NCAA Division III Tournament Hartford regional, but lost in the deciding elimination game, 10-3, to end its post-season run on Sunday. The Bantams, who hosted the regional at Murren Family Field at DiBenedetto Stadium this weekend, end their season with a 30-9 record after reaching the tournament for the first time since 2012. Babson improves to 36-8 and moves on to next weekend's super regional against Cortland State.
Trinity won game one thanks to 12 runs on 18 hits, led by senior Tyler Buckley (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) who was 4-for-5 with two solo home runs, three runs scored and two stolen bases. Sophomore Robbie Cronin (Wellesley Hills, Mass.) also had a big day, going 3-for-4 with a homer, four RBIs and a stolen base. Babson was led by Eric Jaun (Loveland, Ohio) and Nicholas Browne (Mount Laurel, N.J.) who both crushed solo dingers.
After a scoreless first inning, Trinity jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second thanks to an RBI-single off the bat of Cronin that scored junior Mack Lauder (Chappaqua, N.Y.) and a double-steal that plated Buckley.
The Bantams exploded for five runs in the third thanks to back-to-back homers with two outs an RBI-single off the bat of junior Brett Stevenson (Southport, Conn.). Stevenson drove home classmate Matt Koperniak (Adams, Mass.) to start things before Cronin came up and launched a two-run shot over the left field fence. That prompted a Babson pitching change before Buckley crushed a four-bagger to make it an 8-0 game.
Jaun launched a solo shot in the fourth to make it a seven run game, but Trinity's bats proved to be too much. The Bantams, playing as the away team, scored two runs in both the sixth and seven innings, including Buckley's second home run of the day in the seventh, to extend their lead. Jaun added a run for the Beavers in the sixth on a sacrifice fly before Browne's home run in the seventh made it an 11-3 game. Cronin singled in the eighth to add Trinity's 12th run of the game.
Trinity first-year hurler Shayne Rice (West Hartford, Conn.) got the win on the bump, turning in a stout performance. Rice went five innings and allowed just two earned runs while striking out a pair. Trinity senior tri-captain Erik Mohl (Milton, Mass.) came on in relief and scattered three hits across four innings of work while also recorded two strike outs.
In game two, the Bantams jumped out to a 2-0 lead after three innings, but Babson scored nine runs between the fifth and seven innings, including six in the top of the fifth, to come away with a 10-3 victory.
Trinity struck first in the home half of the second when junior tri-captain Alex Rodriguez (South Windsor, Conn.) singled home senior tri-captain Johnny Stamatis (Ridgefield, Conn.). Babson was retired in order in the third by starter Cameron Crowley (Downers Grove, Ill.), who pitched into the eighth inning in a start against the Beavers just yesterday, before Trinity added its second run of the game in the next frame on a RBI-single off the bat of senior Ben Reinisch (Troy, N.Y.).
Babson's bats stayed quiet until the sixth inning when the visitors busted it open with six runs. Brian McHale (Ramsey, N.J.) got things going with a sacrifice fly that scored Matthew Valente (Wyckoff, N.J.) before a single from Connor Gill (Sterling, Mass.) tied it at 2-2. Gill scored on a bases loaded hit by pitch to give Babson a 3-2 lead before an infield single off the bat of Edward Lehr (Byram Township, N.J.) and a two-run single by Valente with the bases loaded put the Beavers ahead, 6-2. Buckley singled to left in the home half, scoring Cronin, but that's as close as it got as the Beavers scored four more times.
Jaun singled home a run in the sixth before Gill and Jake Oliger (Newtown, Conn.) added RBIs in the seventh. Sean Harrington (Walpole, Mass.) added the exclamation mark with a run-scoring double in the ninth with two outs.