Trinity Baseball Sweeps Wesleyan On Senior Day

Trinity Baseball Sweeps Wesleyan On Senior Day

Hartford, Conn. – Senior co-captain Chris Speer (Westport, Conn.) extended his scoreless innings streak to 20 with five innings of shutout pitching in game one and first-year OF Matt Koperniak (Adams, Mass.) went 5-for-5 with four walks to reach base on all nine plate appearances, leading the Trinity College Bantams to a 7/9-0/5 doubleheader sweep against the visiting Wesleyan University Cardinals in the baseball finale for both teams this afternoon at Murren Family Field in DiBenedetto Stadium this afternoon.  Trinity ends the year at 22-14, its highest win total since 2012, and with nine wins in its final 10 games including five shutouts.  Wesleyan closes its season at 19-16.

Speer went five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, to pick up his third win of the season. The Bantams out-hit the Cardinals, 13-5, while scoring at least one run in five of their six at-bats. Wesleyan starter Ethan Rode (Doylestown, Pa.) went four innings and allowed five runs, all earned, on nine hits in the losing effort.  Trinity started things in the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles by Christian Orsini (Livingston, N.J.) and Koperniak, the second of which was a perfectly placed hit-and-run that pushed Orsini from first to third. Senior Nick DiBenedetto (Fort Myers, Fla.) was then hit by a pitch to load the bases before rookie Alex Rodriguez (South Windsor, Conn.) delivered with a base hit through the left side to plate Orsini and Koperniak.

Trinity opened up a 3-0 lead in the second inning after senior Jake Bennett (Norwell, Mass.) clubbed a one-out triple to deep centerfield before coming around to score on a groundout by sophomore Ben Reinisch (Troy, N.Y.).  Sophomore 1B John Stamatis (Ridgefield, Conn.) roped a line-drive single to left in the home half of the third inning to bring home Koperniak who reached on a triple, putting the Bantams ahead 4-0 after three. Junior Brendan Pierce (Hingham, Mass.) crushed a solo home run in the fourth to open up a 5-0 lead for Trinity.

Wesleyan's offense put some pressure on the Bantams in the top of the fifth, placing runners on second and third following a hit by pitch and single to right. With two outs and two on, Speer induced a groundball to shortstop for the third out of the inning to preserve the shutout for the time being. Koperniak sent a solo homer deep over the right field fence in the bottom of the inning, the first of his career, to give Trinity a 6-0 lead. Rodriguez then clubbed a triple to right-center, scoring DiBenedetto who reached on a single, to make it a seven-run advantage  First-year Dan Marini (Nahant, Mass.) and junior Anthony Egeln Jr. (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.) both worked an inning each on the bump to close out the game for the Bantams.

In the second game, Trinity trailed, 2-1, heading into the home half of the third inning after an unearned Cardinal run in the second frame, but the Bantams scored three times on an RBI single by Koperniak and a two-out, two-run base knock by Stamatis.  The Bantams broke the game open with six runs in the fourth frame, while sophomore LHP Erik Mohl (Milton, Mass.) cruised through six innings to finish the year at 7-2 on the hill.  Reinisch highlighted the Bantam fourth with a two-run triple and Stamatis added another two-RBI hit, while Mohl finished his day with just three hits and one walk allowed with five K's.

Wesleyan scored the game's final four runs off four Trinity relievers, while four Cardinals kept Trinity off the board for the final four frames.  Wesleyan scored twice in the seventh on a wild pitch and an RBI single by Ellis Schaefer (Newtown Square, Pa.), once in the eighth on an RBI single by Nick Valicenti (Braintree, Mass.), and once more in the ninth on a homer from senior Will O'Sullivan (Needham, Mass.) on his final collegiate swing.  Rookie Alec Olmstead (Palo Alto, Calif.) took the loss for Wesleyan who received two hits apiece by Schaefer and Matt Jeye (Holliston, Mass.).  Five different Bantams had two hits, including Koperniak who also doubled and stole three bases, and Stamatis who went 2-for-3 with four RBI.