March 18th, 2017
Trinity out-slugs St. Xavier
Few anticipated a slugfest when Trinity’s third-ranked baseball team traveled to No. 1 St. Xavier Saturday
The teams combined for 24 hits as the visiting Shamrocks defeated St. X 13-8 at Carl and Rosemary Mueller Field on a windy and chilly morning.
“That’s the best I’ve seen out of us at the plate, 13 runs is great, but 15 hits is even better,” Trinity head coach Rick Arnold said. “We have a great approach and we’re going to attack fastballs and breaking balls. We’re going to play smart baseball offensively. I’m really pleased with what I saw at the plate today.”
Despite having won two state titles in the past three years, St. X (4-1) has now lost three straight to Trinity (4-0); their last win in the series came back in 2014.
St. X fell behind 3-0 in the first inning but answered with five runs in the bottom of the inning. Trinity trailed 6-5 going into the fourth inning before scoring four runs and never trailed again.
“If you had told me before the game that we were going to score eight runs, I’d have been happy,” St. X head coach Andy Porta said. “We were tickled to death with how we responded in the bottom of the first because we could have just rolled over. We scored five runs with two outs in the first. That was a big positive.”
Trinity pounded out 15 hits. Michael Blair led the way with three hits and two RBIs.Matt Higgins recorded two hits, score three times, and drove in two runs. A.J. Arnold also had two hits and two RBIs.
“I think we were just pouncing on the pitches,” Higgins said. “We were in the zone and didn’t get down on ourselves if we were facing an 0-2 count. We stayed with it and continued to battle.”
Ben Metzinger, Dylan Byerly, and Brandon Pfaadt had two hits apiece and Clayton Mehlbauer and Noah Baugher each had a hit.
“It’s great to have Metzinger, Higgins, and Blair at the top of the order,” Rick Arnold said. “But it’s the middle and the bottom of the order too. Dylan Byerly and A.J. Arnold and Noah Baugher had big days too. Everybody was swinging the bat well. Our guys at the top set the tempo and that was big.”
Blair echoed the same sentiments as his coach.
“Our team has a really good approach at the plate,” Blair said. “No matter what the score is we’re going to go up with a hitter’s mentality and try to get the job done.”
The Tigers recorded nine hits. Cam Scheler led the way with two hits and two RBIs, Ryan Davis had two hits and an RBI, Tanner Brown, Chris Esselman, Chase Patton and Zeke Porta each had a hit and a run batted in, and Sam Hedges had a hit.
Brody Heil, a University of Louisville commit, started for Trinity and allowed seven earned runs, six hits, walked five while striking out four. Max Medley relieved Heil and allowed one earned run and three hits in 3 and 1/3 innings pitched.
Connor Holden started on the hill for St. X and allowed six earned runs, 11 hits, walked one, and struck out seven in 3 and 2/3 innings of work.
“He got a couple of balls up, that's all it was,” Porta said. “Trinity did what they were supposed to do and belted it. Greg (Scheer), our pitching coach, and I talked after the game. He mentioned that Higgins took a low pitch and drove it into right field. I had felt like that was a good pitch there. I tip my cap to Higgins. But the others were belt high and they drove them into the gap. Trinity did what they were supposed to do with those types of pitches.”
Chase Collins relieved Holden and didn’t record an out allowing two hits, walking two, and allowed two runs, one earned. Henry Sadlo finished the rest of the game and tossed 3 and 1/3 innings allowing three runs, two earned, three hits, walked two, and struck out one.
“I’m not sure that Connor had his best day,” Higgins said. “We swung at the first available pitch that was a strike and moved people and scored them.”