It’s crunch time, and Trinity Christian College’s baseball team tried to avoid being crunched.
The Trolls dropped a 6-5 decision in 13 innings to St. Xavier University in the opening game of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament in Elgin on Saturday. That sent them into the losers’ bracket of the double-elimination carnival and a date with top-seeded University of St. Francis this past Monday.
The loss to the Cougars left Trinity 25-19 for the season — the victory total is a school record — and with something of a bitter taste.
The Trolls had a 1-0 lead in the early going against SXU, fell back 3-1, then tied it with two outs in the eighth inning on Steve Brewer’s two-RBI single. Victory could have been Trinity’s in the ninth, but it stranded a runner on third and regulation ended in a 3-3 deadlock.
Both the Cougars and Trolls scored once in the 10th, and SXU took a 6-4 lead on a pair of RBI singles in the top of the 13th after threatening in the previous inning. Trinity answered with a run in the bottom of the frame when Joe McCaw scored on a wild throw on Brewer’s one-out steal of second, but Brewer was stuck there as the next two batters were retired.
The Trolls finished third in the CCAC regular-season standings, thanks to 5-1 and 10-3 victories over Trinity International University. Trinity Christian piled up 19 hits in the twinbill, including McCaw’s fifth homer of the year. The nightcap was 9-0 after four innings and ended after seven.