GEORGETOWN, Texas – Southwestern lost to Trinity 8-7 on Friday night in a see-saw battle. The lead changed hands no less than five times in the closely contested game.
The matchup began as a pitcher's duel between Southwestern's Jason Stading and Trinity's Ryan Gray. Both hurlers began with three innings apiece of shutout ball.
It was Trinity that opened the scoring in the top of the fourth inning. Pat Hirschberg singled off the heel of Stading with two outs. He advanced to second after Nick Jewett drew a walk. Julian Cronk followed with a single to center field that scored Hirschberg and pushed Cronk to third. Southwestern got out of the jam as Drew Fleischman made a great running catch near the left field line to keep Trinity to a 1-0 lead.
Southwestern follwed up with some offense of their own. Zachary Lynch and Clayton Sparks drew back to back walks to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning. Tyler Bludau reached on an error by the shortstop to load the bases for the Bucs. Will Cates followed with a single to left field to score Lynch from third. Then Sparks scored on a wild pitch and the rest of the runners advanced a base. A RBI single through the right side by Ethan Luna gave the Pirates the 3-1 lead.
The Bucs struck again in the bottom of the fifth inning. Charlie St. Clair led off with a single to center field. Lynch followed with a walk. A batter later, St. Clair scored from second on a RBI single to center field by Bludau to extend the lead to 4-1.
The Tigers roared back with four runs on four hits in the top of the sixth inning to retake the game at 6-5.
Southwestern responded in the bottom half as Jake Pawelek led off with a single to left center. He moved up to second base on a one out single to center field by Fleischman. Then St. Clair hit a RBI double down the left field line to tie the game. Lynch followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center field and brought home Fleischman for the 6-5 lead.
The Pirates' offense capitalized on some Trinity miscues in the bottom of the eighth inning. Colten Shea reached on an error by the shortstop with one out. He later stole second base and took third on an errant throw down by the catcher. Then Fleischman drew a walk to give the Pirates runners on first and third. Shea scored on the sacrifice fly to left field by St. Clair to make it a 7-5 contest.
In the top of the ninth, Trinity led off with a pair of singles from Connor Moore and Carter McEachern. A batter later, Jeremy Wolf hit a two RBI double to left center to tie the game and he would later score to put the Tigers ahead 8-7.
Southwestern tried to rally on a Tyler Bludau two out single to right center field. However, Trinity was up to the task and secured the last out and the win.
St. Clair led the Pirates offense by going 2 for 3 with a double, a run scored, and 2 RBI. Trinity's Teddy Turner collected the win (1-0) and Joseph Koch (0-1) took the loss for Southwestern.
The Tigers improve to (6-1) on the year and the Pirates fall to (1-8). The two teams face off again tomorrow in a doubleheader beginning at 2pm at Rockwall Field on the Southwestern campus in Georgetown, Texas.