Baseball Begins Season In Florida

ALEX DAHLEM ’20 STAFF WRITER
 The Trinity College baseball team began their season with a Spring Break trip to Florida, playing a plethora of games while also enjoying the sunny climes. In contrast to the hot weather, the Bantams play was only mediocre, winning 4 of the 8 games that they played.
Trinity opened its season on March 11th against UMass-Dartmouth in the RussMat Central Florida Invitational. The Bantam offense was active early and often as four Trinity players had multiple hits (Mack Lauder ’20, Nick DiBenedetto ’17, Ben Reinisch ’19, and Cooper Mooney ’18). UMass-Dartmouth matched Trinity’s offense in later innings however, scoring five runs in the 8th to take a 9-7 lead over the Bantams. With only one more at-bat to work with, Trinity mounted a clutch comeback and tied the game after senior leader Nick DiBenedetto hit a bases-loaded single with 2 outs. Trinity shut out UMass-Dartmouth in the bottom of the 9th and sent the game to extra innings. Cooper Mooney got the extra frame started with a single, and then advanced to second-base after a UMass-Dartmouth error. Catcher Mack Lauder then sniped a double to centerfield that scored Mooney and put the Bantams ahead for good.
Trinity then moved on to Lakeland, Florida on March 12th to engage in a double-header with Dickinson College. The Bantams battled Dickinson to two wildly different outcomes, first losing 8-1 before throttling the Red Devils 16-2 in the second game. Trinity’s starting pitcher in the first game, McLane Hill ’18, had a solid first four innings before allowing a four-run rally in the 5th inning. The Red Devils would tack on 4 more and never look back at the Bantams.
The second game was a totally different story for Trinity, indicating early season inconsistencies. Nick Dibenedetto ’17 started the scoring for the Bantams in the first inning with an RBI single. Trinity would go on to score 3 more runs in their half of the inning before Dickinson answered with 1 run in the bottom of the 1st. Trinity would add another run in the 2nd before a stall in the scoring until a massive 4th inning. Disguised by the flourishing offense of the Bantams was the solid pitching effort by Richie Cardillo ’19, who finished with 7 strikeouts in six innings of work.
The Bantams continued their trip with a loss to Rensselaer on March 13th before a win against Western New England on the 15th. Trinity’s offense continued its hot streak against Rensselaer while enduring a back and forth game. Nick DiBenedetto and Ben Reinisch both recorded doubles in the 9-6 loss to the Engineers. The following game against Western New England proved to be much more exciting as the Bantams staved off a harsh comeback effort to beat the Golden Bears 6-5. DiBenedetto continued his torrid play with 3 hits and 2 RBI’s while Brendan Pierce ’18 also went 2 for 4 while compiling 2 RBI’s. Despite the offense, Pierce’s shining moment occurred on the mound in the 9th inning as he shut the door on the Golden Bears with stellar pitching.
Trinity’s final three games of the Florida trip ended in losses to Rutgers-Camden (14-5) and Salve Regina (7-2) before an emphatic win against Illinois-Wesleyan (17-8). The Bantams were shutout for 8 innings against Rutgers- Camden before mounting an unsuccessful 9th inning comeback effort. First-year catcher Alex Rodriguez was a bright-spot for Trinity in their loss to

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