San Antonio – Trinity's fourth-ranked baseball team finished off a weekend series against Birmingham-Southern (AL) College with a 5-4 extra-inning victory on Sunday afternoon.
Both teams got on the board in the first inning to get the game off to a fast start, but both teams also missed chances for a big inning and had to settle for just one run each.
Birmingham had three hits from the first four batters of the ballgame, but Trinity starter Matthew Thomas struck out the next two hitters to limit the damage.
In the bottom of the inning, the Tigers loaded the bases with one out, but a sacrifice fly was the only run-producing play as the offense stranded two runners.
Trinity continued its hot start in the second inning, taking the lead on a two-run home run by Jack Vonderhaar, and then putting two more hits together to threaten an even bigger inning. A double play by Birmingham-Southern kept the Tigers from doing any further damage.
The Panthers carried that momentum into the third, tying the game with a pair of hits that chased Thomas from the game.
Corey Cater came on in relief to get the final out, then pitched four more scoreless innings to quiet the Birmingham bats. The Tiger offense also was held without a hit from the third through the seventh and the game remained a 3-3 tie.
The Panthers broke that tie by scoring a run on a Trinity error, but a second runner was thrown out trying to advance home on a ground out, and the score was 4-3 heading into the bottom of the inning.
Trinity used some clutch two-out hitting to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth, getting a single and a walk after the first two batters were retired. Vonderhaar then picked up a game-tying RBI with his single to right. The Tigers did leave the bases loaded, though, and the game was tied going into the ninth.
After Birmingham left a runner on base in the top of the ninth, Trinity had its chance to win it after two runners reached base with just one out. Instead, the Tigers hit into an inning-ending double play to send the game into extra innings.
In the bottom of the 10th, Trinity started with a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases. Birmingham got the first out on an infield pop-up, but Jake Martin gave the Tigers their second walkoff win of the young season with his RBI single to right field to end the game.
The Tigers won two of the three games in the series with the Panthers, improving to 4-1 overall with today's win. Trinity bounced back from Friday night's loss in the opening game to take each of the last two games, dropping Birmingham's record to 2-4 on the year.
Jack Vonderhaar went 2-4 with a home run and three RBI to lead Trinity's offense, which scored five runs in each game of this weekend's matchup with the Panthers.
Jake Martin finished the series with a 3-6 afternoon, picking up three singles that included the game-winning hit in the bottom of the 10th inning.
Jack Wisniewski went 2-4 with three runs scored for the Tigers.
Jeff Lonnecker (1-0) picked up the win in relief, yielding just three hits over three innings of work, and the only run he allowed was unearned.
Corey Cater threw 4.1 scoreless innings in relief of starter Matthew Thomas, who struck out four batters in 2.2 innings, but did allow three runs on six hits. Cater gave up just two hits in 15 batters faced.
Trinity will play its first road game of the season on Tuesday, February 19, taking on the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (TX) at 7:00 p.m.