Blistering Bats Leads Trinity Past La Crosse; One Game Away from National Title Series

Blistering Bats Leads Trinity Past La Crosse; One Game Away from National Title Series

APPLETON, Wis. - The Trinity University Tigers continued to swing a red hot bat, destroying the Wisconsin-La Crosse Eagles, 16-6, and will play the Eagles against tomorrow morning with a berth in the NCAA National Championship series on the line. Interview with Coach Scannell, Drew Butler, Connor Moore, and Trent Rape

Trinity has now scored 42 runs in four games at the NCAA Baseball Championship. Connor Moore finished 4-for-6 on the evening with a double, triple, five RBI, and four runs scored while Drew Butler went 2-for-4 with a double, home run, four RBI, and two runs scored. 

After Jeremy Wolf forced a crucial 3-2 walk in the first with two outs, Butler stepped to the plate and laced his fourth homer of the season straight down the left field line for a 2-0 lead.

Trinity carried that momentum into the next two innings, scoring nine total runs to take a commanding 11-1 lead. In the second, Nick Jewett would drive one in on a RBI single followed by a two RBI triple from Moore. Colin Serkowski added a sac fly to make it 6-0.

After the Eagles clawed a run in the bottom of the second, Trinity exploded for five runs as Jose Santos brought a run home on a RBI single. Moore would step up again and deliever with the bases loaded, singling up the middle for two more RBI while the Tigers took advantage of La Crosse errors to go up 11-1.

Trent Rape had some struggles at times on the mound, but would constantly come through with a big pitch to keep the Eagles at bay.

In the sixth inning, with the Tigers leading 12-4, La Crosse seemed to have found some momentum, earning back-to-back walks to the No. 8 and 9 hole hitters. With the top of the lineup coming up, Rape beared down and earned two straight strikeouts and a groundout back to himself to end the inning and swing all the momentum back to the Tigers.

Moore, Butler, Beau Attyah, and T.J. Garhart would all drive in runs in the next three innings to increase the Tiger lead to 16-4.

Rape would pitch 6.2 innings, allowing four runs, only one earned, on nine hits, and striking out five. He would hand off the game off to Michael Maul, who pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless ball. Troy Nelson pitched the last inning, allowing two unearned runs and striking out three batters.

Eight of the nine Trinity starters had at least one hit. Along with the big games from Moore and Butler, Wolf finished 4-for-5 with two runs scored and a RBI. Jose Santos and Austin Singer each had a pair of hits with Santos driving in a run. Brody Fehmel, Nick Jewett, and Santos all scored two runs in the contest.

The Tigers and Eagles will battle tomorrow beginning at 11 AM with the winner of that game playing 50 minutes after their conclusion of the game in Game 1 of the National Championship series against Cortland State, who advanced earlier with a 17-4 win over Frostburg State. The second game and the if necessary game will be played on Wednesday.