Lakeland, Fla. – After dropping the first game, 8-1, the Trinity College baseball team exploded for a 16-2 victory over the Dickinson College Red Devils in game two of a doubleheader on Sunday evening in the team's second day of action in Florida. Trinity improves to 2-1 to start the season while Dickinson moves to 7-3 overall. Trinity returns to action tomorrow when they square off against Rensselaer at 4 p.m. in Auburndale.
In the day's first game, it was Trinity that struck first in the home half of the second when junior Tyler Forgione (North Branford, Conn.) came across on a fielder's choice off the bat of classmate Ryan Vultaggio (Vero Beach, Fla.). Junior starting pitcher McLane Hill (Marlborough, Conn.) cruised through the first four innings to keep the Red Devils off the scoreboard but a four-run top of the fifth gave Dickinson a three-run lead.
Steven Sako started the rally with a bunt single down the first base line that scored Matt Matilsky from third to tie the game at 1-1. RBI-singles from David Farnham and Robbie Thompson opened up a two-run Dickinson lead before Farnham later came around to score on a fielder's choice to cap off the four-run inning.
Dickinson pitcher Billy O'Neil held Trinity's offense in check the rest of the way en route to his third victory of the season. The Red Devil offense provided O'Neil with four more insurance runs in the top of the seventh, highlighted by a two-run single by Pat Davis, before O'Neil shut the door in the home half to cap off the 8-1 win.
Trinity's bats came alive for the second game as the Bantams put up a four-spot in the top of the first inning to jump out to an early lead. Senior Nick DiBenedetto (Fort Myers, Fla.) started the scoring with an RBI single that scored Forgione before sophomore Johnny Stamatis (Ridgefield, Conn.) crossed the plate on a wild pitch. Vultaggio capped off the inning with a double down the left field line that brought home Mooney and DiBenedetto.
Dickinson catcher Rich Hopkins cut into the deficit in the home half with a base knock to left that scored Sako, but the Bantams answered in the top of the second inning when rookie Alex Rodriguez (South Windsor, Conn.) scored on a ground out to first base by Stamatis.
Trinity exploded for four more runs in the top of the fourth to open up a commanding 9-1 lead. Juniors Matt Toth (New Canaan, Conn.) and Cooper Mooney (Southbury, Conn.) both recorded RBI singles in the inning while Rodriguez scored on a passed ball and Toth crossed on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Stamatis.
With a runner on third and the infield in, sophomore Tyler Buckley (Mt. Kisco, N.Y.) hit a Baltimore chop over the shortstop's head to bring in classmate Ian Steckel (Winchester, Mass.) for Trinity's tenth run of the game in the top of the fifth inning. Dickinson's Ryan Fuscaldo drilled a double to deep centerfield in the bottom half of the fifth that scored Farnham to make it a 10-2 ballgame but a two-run single by Mooney in the sixth put the Bantams back up by ten. Rodriguez added a two-run single before Toth put the exclamation point on the evening with a two-run triple as Trinity cruised to the 16-2 win.
Bantam starting pitcher Richie Cardillo (Boston, Mass.) shined in his first start of the year, finishing with seven strikeouts while scattering seven hits across six innings of work. Junior Dan Marini (Nahant, Mass.) came in to finish the game in the seventh, recording a strikeout in his first appearance in a Trinity uniform.