Richard Ruth‘s two-run home run sparked a late rally in Game 1 of Trinity Baptist College‘s double-header with the nationally-ranked #3 team in the NAIA. Trinity battled hard all night, but the Southeastern University Fire won both games by scores of 8-6 and 7-3.
Game 1: SEU 8, Trinity 6
Trinity fell behind 6-0 early in Game 1, but Ruth connected on a 1-0 fastball with T.J. Lanning on first. Ruth’s blast cleared the right-field fence by a long margin and started a comeback effort that fell just a little short.
Ruth would end the night 4-6, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, and 1 R in the double-header.
With the score 8-3 entering the bottom of the sixth, the Eagles rallied for three runs thanks to RBI’s from David Hall (single) and Jon Shiver (groundout) and a passed ball that allowed Jeremy Rivera to cross the plate. Hall also drove in a run in the third with an RBI ground ball.
Southeastern scored three times in each of the first two innings with the big blow, a three-run home run, coming off the bat of Mike D’Acunti in the second. Luis Diaz escaped a run-down with two outs in the second to set up D’Acunti. The Fire added two more in the fourth to make the score 8-2. Five of the eight runs were unearned.
Game 2: SEU 7, Trinity 3
Darkness quite literally descended on the field when the lights shut down in the bottom of the seventh with Kevin Rivera on first base. Rivera had just driven in Lanning with a single. The Eagles got Jacob Bolena aboard after a 20+-minute delay, but Oscar Sandoval, who saved Game 1, got the final out to preserve the win for Chris Colletti.
Trinity took a 2-0 lead in the third when Ruth singled home Gabby Pedraza, who led off the inning with a double to right and advanced to third on Shiver’s bunt single. After a walk to Lanning, Jeremy Rivera drew a bases-loaded walk to bring in Shiver. The Eagles would very likely have scored more if not for two sliding catches by the Fire’s corner outfielders on well-hit drives.
Southeastern came back with four runs in the fourth and added one in the sixth and two in the seventh.
Lanning made two bullet throws from left field to cut down Fire runners at the plate. In each instance, Lanning charged in, made the catch, and completed the inning-ending double play with Hall making the tag each time to end the third and fourth innings.
Lanning reached base six times overall and scored twice. Pedraza was 2 for 3 in game two, and Shiver found himself on base four times.
The Eagles have one regular-season series left. They will visit Vorhees College on Friday and Saturday, April 28 and 29. Friday’s single game begins at 1:00 p.m. as does Saturday’s twin bill.
The Eagles will then prepare for the NCCAA South Region Tournament, which is scheduled for May 11-13.
–Raymond Bureau, TBC