Michael Cohick pitched a complete game and Jeremy Rivera belted a two-run homer to give the Trinity Baptist College Eagles a 7-1 victory in the first of two in a Saturday afternoon double-header with South Region rival Toccoa Falls College. Toccoa won the second game 4-3 in comeback fashion.
Game 1: Trinity 7, Toccoa Falls 1
Cohick went the distance in Game 1, allowing one earned run on six hits while walking one. He limited Toccoa’s opportunities, and when Toccoa threatened, Cohick got help from his defense, particularly Shawn Moose and A.J. Alexio up the middle. The duo turned a slick double play in the second, and Alexio made several fine plays at shortstop while second baseman Moose cut down a runner at third on a heads-up play on a ground ball to the right side. Alexio also trapped a runner in a run-down that led to an out at the plate.
Cohick kept the ball in the infield, getting 15 of the 21 outs on ground balls or infield pop-ups. He did not strike out a Screaming Eagle, but his efficiency allowed him to finish what he started.
With Trinity ahead 2-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Rivera sent a 1-0 fastball into the woods behind the left-field fence for a two-run bomb that scored T.J. Lanning ahead of him.
Rivera then drove in two more in the sixth with a bases-loaded single that made it 6-0 as Jacob Bolena and Jon Shiver crossed. Lanning then scored on a passed ball for the game’s final run.
Trinity scored single runs in the third (Lanning RBI double to score Shiver) and fourth (Alexio on an error) to take the early lead. Toccoa Falls got one in the sixth on a single from Zack Zillweger that brought in Brandon Tamaya.
Game 2: Toccoa Falls 4, Trinity 3
Zillweger’s suicide squeeze scored the tying run in the top of the seventh, and Nathan Stanley‘s RBI triple plated the eventual winning run as Toccoa Falls rebounded from losing the lead in the bottom of the sixth to win Game 2. With one out, Zillweger bunted home Erik Lusk from third, and Stanley followed with his triple on the next pitch.
Gabby Pedraza put Trinity ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth with a two-run single that scored Christian Draper (pinch running for Rivera) and Alexio. Trinity got its first run in the fifth when Bolena drove in Moose with a sacrifice fly to center to make the score 2-1.
Toccoa took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth on two-out RBI singles from Zillweger and Stanley.
Matt Carter started for Trinity and pitched well, allowing two earned runs in 4 2/3 innings. He allowed six hits, walked three, and struck out two. Toccoa’s Justin Skinner went the distance in earning the Game 2 win. Skinner allowed eight hits, walked two, and fanned two.
The series will wrap up with a single game on Monday, March 13, at 4:00 p.m. Trinity will then have a week off before facing Johnson University of Tennessee and Edward Waters College for three games each throughout Spring Break week, March 20-25.
Trinity and Toccoa Falls will meet again on March 31 (single game) and April 1 (double-header) in Toccoa, Georgia.
–Raymond Bureau, TBC