College Baseball: Trinity Christian, St. Xavier split doubleheader
By Tim O’Brien For Sun-Times Media April 7, 2014 7:56PM
Updated: April 7, 2014 9:43PM
Three games, three losses — and two of the losses in heartbreaking fashion in extra innings.
Trinity Christian had a weekend to forget at the hands of St. Francis.
There was no panic for the Trolls and more important, no time to dwell on the losses.
“Struggles and slumps happen,” Trinity Christian’s Danny Britt. “We dropped three games that we thought we had a chance in, but you’ve got to be patient. It’s part of the game. We have confidence in the team that we’ll figure things out.”
Trinity Christian snapped the mini-losing streak Monday, defeating visiting St. Xavier 5-2 in Palos Heights in the opener of a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference crossover doubleheader. St. Xavier (12-16, 7-3) won the nightcap 5-4.
In the opener, Britt provided the offense courtesy of a mammoth three-run home run and starting pitcher Bobby Wilmsen did the rest for the Trolls (10-13, 5-5).
After falling behind 2-0 through two, Britt and Co. strung together four hits in the third. Mark Munizzi’s RBI double scored Pete Krygsheld to open the scoring. Two batters later, up stepped Britt with two runners on base. Britt teed off on an offering from St. Xavier pitcher Jesse Lopez, depositing the ball well beyond the fence in left field to give the Trolls a 4-2 advantage.
After being retired on a flyball to center in his first at-bat, Britt knew what he was looking for the next time around.
“I got a little antsy and missed a similar pitch I could have hit just as far,” Britt said with a laugh. “Second at-bat, I tried to stay relaxed and get something I could drive. I didn’t try to do too much with it. It was a big hit, even bigger because it helped us get the win.”
The homer was Britt’s first this season.
After getting the lead, Wilmsen (Lockport) stuck with the formula, pitching to contact and letting his defense do the rest. The junior threw six innings, scattering six hits and two walks with no strikeouts.
Trolls center fielder Joe McCaw ended the fifth by cutting down St. Xavier’s Tyler Gaynor at home after a Alec Barnhart single up the middle. One inning later, Trolls third baseman Brad Kopale fielded a grounder and threw out St. Xavier’s Jim Augle at the plate.
“Just trying to mix up fastball and curveball,” Wilmsen said. “I tried to hit my spots and let the defense play. That’s the pitcher I am, just throwing strikes.”
Ryan Pellack (RBI), Chris Klein (run), Tom Keating (run) and Augle (double) led St. Xavier.
Augle added a highlight-reel catch in center in the second to rob Kopale of extra bases.
“(Wilmsen) had us off balance all game,” Augle said. “He did a great job. We’ve been on a bit of a run, and hopefully we can start it back up.”
In Game 2, Barnhart’s RBI double in the top of the ninth brought home Steve Carrabotta with the game-winning win. Augle and Klein also had RBI in the game for the Cougars, who enetered Monday on a five-game winning streak.
Steve Brewer went 2-for-4 with two RBI for Trinity.