Trolls finally get on track
Maybe it should have been expected.
After two weeks without a baseball game, it took Trinity Christian College a while to get its bats unwrapped on Friday. But when the Trolls got going, they made the most of it, winning two of three in their weekend series with Holy Cross College in Notre Dame, Ind.
Trinity went hitless for four innings on Friday, then scored three times in the fifth and once more in the seventh to score a 4-3 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory at Four Winds Field. The Trolls then recovered well enough from a 4-0 defeat in the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader to collect a 2-1 triumph in the nightcap.
That moved Trinity to 7-9 overall and 2-1 against CCAC competition as it heads into what should be a heavy schedule of games from this point. The Trolls were slated to play doubleheaders Tuesday and Wednesday, have a pair of games at the University of St. Francis on Friday, and host the Fighting Saints again on Saturday.
A similar schedule awaits next week, which translates into 18 games in the first 19 days of April — if the weather cooperates, of course.
Danny Britt, who worked seven innings on the mound, and the duo of Steve Brewer and Joe McCaw were the key men for Trinity in Friday’s triumph. While Britt held the Fighting Saints off the scoreboard during his starting stint, Brewer’s double began the Trolls’ big inning and McCaw picked up two of his three RBI with a timely single.
The loss in Saturday’s opener came about via a paucity of hitting and starter Drew Chibe’s wild start on the mound. Holy Cross loaded the bases without getting a hit, and it went downhill for Trinity from there. Reliever Jimmy Hinkleman allowed only two hits in long relief, but the Trolls couldn’t mount a rally.
However, they bounced back in the second game in as dramatic a fashion as might be found for baseball in March. With Trinity the designated home team, Holy Cross led 1-0 going into the bottom of the ninth when Mark Munizzi reached on an error, moved over on Peter Krygsheld’s single and raced across the plate with the tying run after Britt belted a double.
Brewer was walked to fill the bags, which set up a force at any base, but a Saints error with two outs brought Krygsheld home with the winning run. Vince Van Schouwen picked up the pitching victory by scattering six hits and striking out five batters.
The loss dropped Holy Cross to 2-3 in CCAC play and 6-20 overall.
• The Numbers: 7-9 overall, 2-1 CCAC, 1-1 home, 1-4 road, 5-4 neutral. Leaders: Danny Britt, .367 average, 15 RBI; Joe McCaw, 21 hits, .517 slugging percentage, 3 steals; Steve Brewer, 1 HR; Peter Krygsheld, 3 steals; Britt, Benny Collesano, 2 wins each; Vince Flores, Taylor Boice, 0.00 ERA; Britt, 20 strikeouts.
• Schedule: Friday, at University of St. Francis (2), 3 p.m.; Saturday, vs. USF, 1 p.m.; Wednesday, vs. Robert Morris University (2), 1 p.m.; April 10, vs. Ashford University (2), 1 p.m.; April 11, at Purdue-North Central, 3 p.m.; April 12, vs. Purdue-North Central (2), 1 p.m.; April 15, at Judson University, 4 p.m.
It was 18 days between games for the Trolls, but they were finally able to take the field at home this past Monday, when they split a doubleheader with Calvin College. The visitors scored a 5-0 shutout in the opener, but Trinity turned the tables in the second game and collected a 3-0 victory.
That evened the Trolls’ record at 6-6 entering April, which will feature a basket full of games, both originally scheduled and moved because of March’s chill and snow. Trinity will play at least one game on 13 of the month’s first 17 days, an endurance test that includes today’s 3 p.m. visit of Wheaton College to Schaaf Field at the Route 83 Athletic Complex.
The Trolls and Knights were scoreless through five innings in the first game before Calvin broke through with three runs in the sixth via a walk, single, error, fielder’s choice and pair of groundouts. The Knights finished the scoring in the seventh with back-to-back, one-out homers by Lina Avila and Merin Cok.
Trinity was held to five hits by Calvin freshman Cassidy Vlot, who struck out eight. Mattie McGuire was stuck with the loss in her first start of the season.
In the nightcap, Brianna Brugioni held Calvin to three hits while the Trolls got to Caitlin Callow for single runs in the first, second and fifth innings. Tori Grzincic’s two-out single scored Anna Phillips in the first, Emily Phillips’ two-out single brought home Natalie Cannizzo in the second, and Jayme Love’s two-out single in the fifth chased in Bailan Reynolds.
• The Numbers: 6-6 overall, 1-1 home, 5-5 neutral. Leaders (through March 30): Emily Phillips, Michelle Interrante, .500 average, .500 slugging percentage; Jayme Love, Anna Phillips, 10 hits, 1 steal; Brianna Brugioni, 5 RBI, 1 HR; Brugioni, 3 wins, 25 strikeouts; Mattie McGuire, 0.50 ERA.
• Schedule: Thursday, vs. Wheaton College, 3 p.m.; Friday, at Olivet Nazarene Tournament; Saturday, at Olivet Nazarene Tournament; Monday, vs. Judson University, 3 p.m.; Tuesday, vs. Purdue-North Central, 3 p.m.; Wednesday, vs. Purdue University Calumet, 3 p.m.; April 10, at St. Xavier University, 3 p.m.
TRACK & FIELD
The Trolls ran hard at North Park College in their first outdoor meet of the season and a quartet of individuals provided them with a total of five victories.
The parade to the podium was led by Emily Dykstra, who captured both the 100-meter high hurdles and triple jump. Dykstra won her race in 16.36 seconds and then turned in a best leap of 34 feet, 10 1/2 inches in the field event.
Ashley Jordan took the 800 in 2:28.57, which, like Dykstra’s two efforts, qualified her for the National Christian College Athletic Association postseason meet. Courtney Kalous’ runner-up time of 1:01.38 in the 400 also met the NCCAA mark. Jordan, Dykstra, Brooke Hamilton and Kalous collaborated to take second in the 1,600-relay (4:14.60).
On the men’s side, distance specialist Andy Reidsma, who is more dependable than an alarm clock, won the 1,600 in 4:12.74. That placed him less than two full seconds in front of runner-up teammate Chris Koutavas, who clocked a 4:14.52. Reidsma also anchored Trinity’s 1,600-relay unit that took second in 3:32.16.
Marcus Devers’ time of 50.85 in the 400 was good enough for first place and met the NCCAA standard for that race.
The Trolls will run at Huntington University’s meet on Saturday.
Trinity gets back on the course on Tuesday, when the University of St. Francis hosts a tournament at Wedgewood. It’s the first of four competitions in two weeks for the Trolls, leading up to the CCAC Championship at Dunne National on April 21 and 22.