College Baseball: Olivet Nazarene blanks Trinity Christian 10-0
One game at a time, one series at a time.
With the college baseball season heading into the home stretch, Trinity Christian coach Justin Huisman addressed the Trolls, preaching that patient approach.
In the midst of a congested race to qualify for the conference tournament, Trinity Christian fell 10-0 Friday in eight innings to visiting Olivet Nazarene in a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference South game on Senior Day.
“You can’t think too far ahead,” Huisman said. “Olivet is a good team with a good pitching staff. (Friday) just wasn’t our day. We’ve been playing good baseball lately, and I think it was a little bit of a shock to be behind.”
Entering Friday, Trinity Christian (21-18, 13-10) had won six straight and seven of eight games coming. On this day, though, the Trolls ran into one hot pitcher.
Olivet Nazarene’s Dave Cericola (4-7) threw all eight innings, scattering five hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
“(Cericola) mixed speeds very well, and he was able to keep the same arm action with a bunch of different pitchers,” Trinity’s Mark Munizzi said. “A guy who can get multiple pitches over the plate, it’s going to be a tough day at times, and that’s what happened (Friday).”
The Trolls found themselves down early, with Olivet Nazarene jumping on starting pitcher Danny Britt for three runs in the second and two more in the third. Aaron King’s two-run single in the third put the Tigers up 5-0.
Britt went seven innings, allowing eight runs on nine hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
“Hit a guy, walk a guy,” Britt said. “You’ve got to be able to battle back and pick up your team. I’m confident in myself. I’ll bounce back. More important, as a team we’ll be all right and be back to normal.”
Munizzi, Britt, J.T. Yokum, Brad Kopale and Vince Flores all had a hit for Trinity Christian.
The Trolls remain in a tight battle with five teams, including Olivet Nazarene (17-25, 12-11), for the remaining four spots in next week’s CCAC Tournament.
Trinity will play a doubleheader Saturday at Olivet before wrapping up the regular season Tuesday at Trinity International.
“We’re confident we’ll not only get in the tournament, but end up with a good spot and seed,” Britt said. “We were on a hot streak until (Friday), and we’ll bounce back with two (Saturday).”