Hartford, Conn. - Senior tri-captain RF Matt Koperniak (Adams, Mass.) went 5-for-10 with two runs, four RBIs, a double, and a home run to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a pair of wins in baseball action this afternoon on Murren Family Field at DiBenedetto Stadium. Trinity improves to 3-0 with a 16-3 win over the Lasell College Lasers followed by a 5-1 victory against the University of Southern Maine Huskies. Lasell drops to 1-2 and the No. 6-ranked Huskies lose their season opener. Trinity scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, including a three-run homer by Koperniak against Lasell. Bantam hurlers Alex Shafer (Baltimore, Md.) and Andrewe DeRoche (North Reading, Mass.) combined on a six-hitter with 10 strikeouts against Southern Maine.
The Bantams jumped out in front of the Lasers early when senior Mack Lauder (Chappaqua, N.Y.) scored the game's first run on a sacrifice fly-out by junior Vincent Capone (Ambler, Pa.) in the bottom of the first inning. Trinity continued its scoring in the second frame when sophomore Colin Mann (Dedham, Mass.) hit an RBI double that brought rookie Patrick Dillon (Bronx, N.Y.) across home plate. The bottom of the third inning saw Trinity score two more runs off two hits, as senior Alex Rodriguez (South Windsor, Conn.) scored on a sacrifice-fly and junior Robert Cronin (Wellesley Hills, Mass.) drove home Capone with a single. Trinity's explosive fifth gave them a 10-0 lead. Trinity brought six players around the diamond to score off only four hits, as Cronin scored on a Lasell error and both Mann and Lauder singled to bring runners home before Koperniak punched a deep homer to center field to score three runners. The next three innings saw the Bantams score twice in each as sophomore Ian Maldonado (Kinnelon, N.J.) had an RBI, junior Eric Thronson (McLean, Va.) doubled and tripled in runs, rookie Macaire Labarge (Dennis, Mass.) registered an RBI triple, and Koperniak closed it out with a run-scoring single.
Lasell struggled to produce hits early on, but the Lasers finally put a run on the board during the top of the seventh inning on a Matt Motyka (Vernon, Conn.) RBI single. The top of the eighth saw Lasell score two more runs, one on another single by Motyka and a third on a double Justin Banks that brought in the Laser's final run of the game. Six Bantams finished with multiple hits, led by Lauder, Koperniak, Cronin, and senior Brett Stevenson (Southport, Conn.), who had all doubles, with three apiece. Sophomore Shayne Rice (West Hartford, Conn.) pitched six hitless and scoreless innings from the bump, recording four strikeouts and walking three. Sophomores Jake Mello (Millis, Mass.) and Luke Pascarella (Wynantskill, N.Y.) pitched the last three innings and struck out three Lasers between them. Motyka had two hits for Lasell, while righty Sean Doris (Lincoln, R.I.) took the loss.
Trinity took a 3-0 lead after two innings against Southern Maine, including two on a double by first-year 3B Patrick Dillon (Bronx, N.Y.) and one on an RBI double by sophomore 1B Colin Mann (Dedham, Mass.). Bantam senior tri-captain Alex Rodriguez (Windsor, Conn.) tripled in another run in the third frame, but Husky senior Dylan Hapworth (Winslow, Maine) blasted a solo homer over the centerfield wall to make it, 4-1, entering the bottom of the fourth. Trinity added the game's final run in the bottom of the fourth on a leadoff walk by Dillon, a hit batsman, a single by rookie OF Brandon Chow (Greenwich, Conn.) and a Lauder sacrifice fly. Shafer was dominant over six innings, allowing six hits with one walk and fanning six, while DeRoche was perfect in the seventh and eighth frames with four strikeouts. Ben Lambert (Saco, Maine) started and took the loss for the Huskies, yielding five runs in 3.1 innings, but Joshua Joy (Smithfield, Maine) was stellar in relief with one-hit ball over 4.2 frames. Hapworth finished 2-for-4 for the Southern Maine offense.