Middlebury, Vt. – The visiting Trinity College Bantams topped the Middlebury College Panthers in a pair of New England Small College Athletic Conference baseball games, taking the opener, 7-4, and winning ,12-3, in game two at Forbes Field. The Bantams, ranked No. 4 in New England and No. 22 in the nation, improve to 25-9, while the Panthers drop to 13-14.
Trinity scored four runs in the eighth inning of a game scheduled for seven, picking up a 7-4 win in game one. Junior RHP Ben Goldberg (Plainview, N.Y.) improved to 4-0 with three innings of relief, allowing one run while striking out four. Eric Truss took the loss in relief for the Panthers, falling to 0-1 with 1.1 innings of work. Middlebury struck for a pair in the fourth inning as Zach Roeder walked and later scored on a wild pitch. Hunter Merryman doubled to left to drive in Matt Wassel, who had earlier singled through the right side. A SAC fly by Michael Morris plated Alex Kelly in the fifth to make it a 3-0 game. Trinity plated three in the sixth to tie the game at 3-3. Junior OF Marc Crowley (Andover, Mass.) singled home a run through the left side, and a sacrifice fly and an error led to the other pair of Bantam runs. Back-to-back doubles from junior OF's Alex Almeida (Bridgeport, Conn.) and Michael Rueger (Teaneck, N.J.) plated three runs in the eighth, with two scoring on Ruger's shot to left. The Bantams added a fourth run on an RBI single through the left side by junior IF Stephen Rogers (Watertown, Mass.). The Panthers made some noise in the bottom of the inning, loading the bases with nobody out. A strikeout, a run-scoring fielder's choice and a fly out ended the contest. Rogers finished 3-4 for Trinity, while Rueger was 2-5 with a double and two RBI. Will Baine was 3-3 for Middlebury, while Alex Kelly went 3-4 and Merryman was 2-4 with a double.
In game two the Bantams scored four first-inning runs. Already leading 1-0, freshman 2B Kyle Decker (Simsbury, Conn.) delivered, driving a bases-loaded offering from Panther starter Cooper Byrne to right-center for a three-run double. Trailing 4-0, Middlebury scratched a run across in the bottom of the frame when Morris doubled home Will Baine from first. Bantam rookie hurler Sean Meekins (Rockville Centre, N.Y.) walked six batters over the first four innings, but the Panthers could not produce a big inning to chase the Trinity ace. After Byrne was relieved in the second inning by Matt Leach, the scoring quieted before Trinity solved the Panther reliever with a key five-run sixth inning. The Bantams collected four hits, but actually hit for the cycle in the frame. Senior OF David Casanova (Bristol, Conn.) opened with a double and scored on an RBI triple by freshman IF Connor Sullivan (Fairfield, Conn.). After a single by Almeida and a two-out walk to junior Joe Papa (Stoneham, Mass.), Rogers blasted a three-run homer over the right field scoreboard for a 9-1 lead. Trinity added three more in the top of the seventh before the Panthers plated a pair on a two-out, two-run home run by Thomas Rafferty.
Decker's 4-5 game two, with three RBI including a double paced Trinity. Rueger's two doubles highlighted his 3-5 game, while Roger's three-run blast capped his 2-5, three RBI performance. Meekins (7-0) spaced out seven walks and four hits over six innings, while allowing one run for the win. Trinity sophomore RHP Ryan Carr (Cos Cob, Conn.) went two innings in relief, giving up two unearned runs, striking out one as senior tri-captaon RHP Angus Anderson (Middletown,. R.I.) pitched a clean ninth inning. Rafferty's homer and two RBI along with Morris' double highlighted the five Panther hits over nine innings. Byrne (2-2) took the loss, going 1.2 innings, striking out a pair. He allowed four earned runs on three hits, while walking five Bantams. Leach went 4.1 innings, allowing five earned with a walk and two strikeouts. Logan Mobley pitched the seventh, giving up three earned, collecting a free pass and one strike out. John Popkowski and Tyler Buckingham pitched the eighth and ninth, respectively, as neither allowed a run to score.