Dan Richard shut the door to end a ninth-inning rally from the visitors, and the Trinity Baptist College Eagles held on to defeat Johnson University 10-9 Monday afternoon.

Richard came into the ball game with one out in the top of the ninth after the Johnson University Royals scored five runs to pull to within two. Johnson’s Chris Burke scored run #9 on a wild pitch, but Richard retired the only two hitters he faced, ending the game with a strikeout, to lock down the save as the Royals had the tying run on second base.

With the game tied 3-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Trinity exploded for six runs as five separate Eagles picked up RBI’s. Following a lead-off walk to Gabby Pedraza, Kevin Rivera tripled to left-center to put the Eagles ahead 4-3.

The Eagles then got RBI’s from David Hall (single), Jon Shiver (single), T.J. Lanning (two-run double), and Jeremy Rivera (double) to take a 9-3 lead. Lanning was the Player of the Game, putting up an offensive line that reads 4-5, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R.

Trinity scored an extra run in the eighth on an RBI ground ball from pinch hitter Cameron Irvine. At the time, the run did not seem so important as it made the score 10-3, but Johnson’s six-run rally turned that extra Eagles run into the margin of victory.

Trinity got an unearned run in the first on Lanning’s double that allowed Shiver, who reached on an error, to score. The Eagles scored two more in the third on Richard Ruth‘s two-run double to take an early 3-0 lead. Johnson, though, got an unearned run in the top of the fourth, and Timothy Howard tied the game with a two-run home run in the sixth.

Michael Cohick pitched seven very solid innings to earn the win. Cohick allowed two earned runs (three total) on seven hits while walking no one and striking out five. Two relievers followed before Richard came in to thwart the Royals’ rally in the ninth. Johnson’s Caleb Lee, Luke Shepherd, Burke (2), and Howard all drove in runs in the Royals’ ninth inning. Burke led the Royals at the plate, going 3 for 5 with 2 RBI and two runs scored. Howard had 3 RBI’s overall.

The two teams will play a double-header at Trinity on Tuesday with the first pitch scheduled for 11:00 a.m. EDT. Trinity will then host Jacksonville’s Edward Waters College Friday (March 24) for a single game and Saturday (March 25) for a double-header with both days’ games starting at 12:00 noon. The Eagles will then travel to Toccoa Falls College for a three-game series beginning on March 31.

–Raymond Bureau, TBC