#12 Baseball Wins Opener but Falls Short in SCAC Title Game to Centenary
CLEBURNE, Texas – Trinity's 12th-ranked baseball team forced an if-necessary game by winning the opener 6-4 in 10 innings, but ultimately fell 10-5 in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship game against Centenary College on Sunday evening.
The Tigers were shooting for their 13th SCAC Championship in 24 tournament finales, but were unable to battle back and earn the game two victory. Trinity falls to 32-9 overall this season with the Sunday split.
The Rundown: Game 1
MJ Metz (San Diego, Calif. / Canyon Crest Academy) kicked things off with a double to left field on the fifth pitch of the game in the top of the first. After a hit batter, Metz stole third to put runners on the corner for Ezra Gore (Dallas, Texas / McKinney North). Gore bunted to move both runners up and pick up the first RBI of the game.
Gore kept the third inning alive with a third-inning double that came with two outs, which also extended his hitting streak to 30 straight games. Evan McDonald (Pflugerville, Texas / Pflugerville) drove in Gore to put Trinity on top 2-0 at the time.
Trinity starter Luke Pfeiffer (Valencia, Calif. / Trinity Classical Academy) threw four shutout innings to start the game, but Centenary finally got on the board in the fifth and chased Pfeiffer from the game with two runs on four hits in the inning. Harrison Durow (Dallas, Texas / Lovejoy) came on in relief and got a strikeout to end the inning with the game tied 2-2.
Centenary took the lead in the bottom of the sixth with two more runs on two more hits, and only a double play by the Tigers kept the inning from getting further out of hand.
The 4-2 lead for the Gents was short-lived, though, as Trinity came back to tie the game 4-4 with a five-hit seventh inning. Metz and McDonald both drove in runs, with McDonald's infield single driving in the tying run. Metz was thrown out at home trying to score the go-ahead run.
Centenary left two runners on base in the bottom of the inning to keep the game tied. Neither team scored in the eighth or ninth to send the game into extra innings. Tyler Pettit (Round Rock, Texas / Round Rock) drew a one-out walk in the top of the 10th to put the go-ahead run on base, then Michael Montrezza (Los Gatos, Calif. / Leigh) broke the tie with the game-winning home run just three pitches later to put Trinity up 6-4. Durow retired Centenary in order in the bottom of the 10th to secure the win and force a second game.
The Rundown: Game 2
The Tigers also got out to a lead in the first inning of game two as Cristian Holloway (Brownsville, Texas / Veterans Memorial) laced a two-RBI double to right field to open the scoring. Holloway was thrown out trying to stretch it to a triple, though, and Centenary escaped without any further damage.
The Gents answered quickly with four runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead, using two walks, two hits, and a hit batter to take the 4-2 lead. Neither team would score in the second, but Trinity was back on board in the third.
Colt Harris (Katy, Texas / Houston Christian) led off the third inning with a homer to get the scoring started, then Metz kept things going with an infield single. After getting bunted over to second, Metz stole third, and then scored on a throwing error to tie the game 4-4. Gore and Holloway hit back-to-back doubles and Trinity took a 5-4 lead with its three-run inning.
Centenary got three straight hits to open up the bottom of the sixth innings, driving in a pair of runs to reclaim the lead in the back-and-forth affair. Alex Bihn (Houston, Texas / Westside) came out of the bullpen to stop the momentum, getting three straight outs to keep it a 6-5 game in favor of Centenary.
In the seventh, Trinity put the first two batters on base before using a sacrifice bunt to get them both into scoring position. A wild pitch got by the Centenary catcher, but the Gents recovered and threw out the Tiger runner at the plate to keep Trinity from tying the game. Centenary then got the final out on a pop up to end the threat.
The Gents then extended the lead with an unearned run in the bottom half of the inning, taking advantage of two Trinity errors to make it a 7-5 lead heading into the final two innings. In the eighth, Centenary put the finishing touches on the game with three more insurance runs to make it a 10-5 advantage with just three outs to go.
Centenary got a double play to pick up two quick outs in the ninth, then pitched around a walk to clinch the conference title.
Numbers to Note
Harrison Durow (Dallas, Texas / Lovejoy) earned the win in the opener, improving to 6-0 on the season. He threw 5.1 innings of relief, allowing two runs on three hits and striking out four batters.
Gore finished game one by going 3-for-4 with two doubles, while Metz and McDonald collected two hits each in the opener. McDonald also drove in a pair of runs in the game.
Montrezza had two RBI and two runs scored, and his 10th-inning homer was his only hit of the first game.
Holloway had two doubles and three RBI in the second game, while Gore added a hit and two more runs. Gore extended his hitting streak to 31 consecutive games by hitting safely in each of today's games.
The Tigers placed six players on the 2022 SCAC All-Tournament Team:
Senior catcher Tyler Pettit (Round Rock, Texas / Round Rock)
Senior infielder MJ Metz (San Diego, Calif. / Canyon Crest Academy)
Senior infielder Jack Wisniewski (San Antonio, Texas / Antonian)
Junior outfielder Ezra Gore (Dallas, Texas / McKinney North)
Sophomore DH Cristian Holloway (Brownsville, Texas / Veterans Memorial)
First-year pitcher Jack Martinez (Corpus Christi, Texas / Ray)
Trinity, which came into the weekend as the top team in Region 10, will await a potential at-large bid to the NCAA Playoffs. The NCAA Selection Show will be Monday, May 16, with the regional tournaments beginning May 20-22.