Appleton, Wisconsin - The Tiger baseball team wrapped up its season with a 10-7 loss to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse on Tuesday evening, finishing off the most successful season in Trinity history by finishing third in the nation at the NCAA Division III Championships.
Trinity was 40-14 overall this season, competing in the final tournament for the first time in school history. The Tigers won three straight elimination games in the championships round, following the team's opening loss to Emory. Trinity defeated UW-La Crosse 16-6 last night to force today's elimination game.
The first two innings featured three runs by the Tiger offense, beginning with Carter McEachern's RBI double. La Crosse was held scoreless over the first three innings, then broke onto the scoreboard with an unusual play with two outs in the fourth.
Tiger starter Mike Walker nearly pitched around two singles to start the inning, getting a fly out and a ground out, followed by a fly ball to right that looked like it would end the threat. Instead, a slip in the outfield led to the ball falling in for a two-run single and La Crosse cut the lead to 3-2.
The Eagles then took the lead with a two-run sixth, scoring on two ground outs to make it a 4-3 advantage. It marked the first time in two games that La Crosse held a lead against the Tigers. The Wisconsin team wasn't done, though, adding a five-run seventh inning to make it 9-3.
After the seventh, the impending rain came down in droves, and a five-our delay ensued. When play resumed, the Tigers were down to just six outs, needing six runs to draw even. Neither team scored in the eighth, but La Crosse extended the lead with a run in the ninth.
In the bottom of the inning, Trinity mounted one last charge, scoring four runs on five hits, but the Tiger offense fell short in the end with a ground out to end the game.
Walker (6-4) took the loss, giving up eight runs on 10 hits over six innings, and La Crosse finished with 16 total hits in the game. Trinity's offense actually out-hit the Eagles in the end, ripping 17 total hits, but scoring just seven runs, and leaving 13 players on base. The Tigers left 10 runners on base over the first five innings.
Connor Moore and Drew Butler had three hits each, while McEachern and Santos both went 2-5 at the plate. Brody Fehmel was 2-4 as well, and Tiger senior Beau Attyah had a pinch-hit single in the ninth that led to a run. Attyah went 3-3 overall during the tournament. Nick Jewett drove in two runs to lead the Tigers, and seven different players scored runs in the game.
Head Coach Tim Scannell led the team to its first Division III College World Series in his 17th season in charge of the program. The Tigers defeated Centenary twice to win the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championship at the beginning of the month, then dispatched Linfield in the West Region Final. Trinity tied a school record with 40 wins, reaching the milestone for the second time in three seasons.