Auburndale, Fla. - Junior co-captain Brendan Pierce (Hingham, Mass.) went 3-for-6 with two homers, three runs and four RBI, including the go-ahead, two-run blast to key a seven-run sixth inning, to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a 17-8 victory over the Illinois Wesleyan University Titans in RussMatt Central Florida Invitational baseball action this afternoon. Trinity finishes its season-opening, spring-break trip down South at 4-4 and Illinois Wesleyan falls to 7-4.
Trailing, 8-5, after a three-run bottom of the fifth inning by the Titans, the Bantams scored seven times in the top of the sixth and six times with two outs on a double-play grounder, run-scoring singles by sophomore SS Ben Reinisch (Troy, N.Y.) and senior 3B Nick DiBenedetto (Fort Myers, Fla.), Pierce's homer, and a two-run single by first-year C Alex Rodriguez (South Windsor, Conn.). Trinity sophomore lefty Erik Mohl (Milton, Mass.) pitched the last 4.1 innings and allowed six hits with four strikeouts without walking a batter and allowing a run to score. The Bantams tacked on three insurance runs in the seventh frame on RBI singles by Pierce and junior 2B Cooper Mooney (Southbury, Conn.) and a Titan error, and three more in the ninth on a solo shot by Pierce and a two-run Mooney single.
The game was tied at 5-4 in Illinois Wesleyan's favor after four innings, as Bantam junior OF Matt Toth (New Canaan, Conn.) scored the game's first run on a single by Reinisch and drove in three runs on a single and a double. Reinisch had a monster day at the plate with five hits in six at-bats, two runs, two RBI, and a stolen base, while Mooney was 3-for-5 with two runs, three RBI, a walk, and a steal. Illinois Wesleyan used eight pitchers who combined to yield 23 hits and Louis Acklin took the loss. The Titans committed six errors and Trinity made two. Sophomore RHP Rich Cardillo (Boston, Mass.) started for Trinity and yielded six earned runs over 4.2 innings.