Trolls Drop Game One in NAIA Opening Round

The Trolls began their NAIA National Tournament Opening Round play at Hunter Wright Stadium in Kingsport, Tennessee in a game with Clarke University (Dubuque, Iowa). The No. 5 Trolls held a lead through the seven innings of the game, but gave up five runs in the bottom of the eighth to fall 7-4 to the No. 4 Pride. With the loss the team moves into the elimination bracket and will play again on May 15 at 11 am EST.

Trinity got on the board early with one run in the first inning. Clarke got that run back in the bottom of the second, but the Trolls took the lead again in the third. Chris Baker started the at bat with a double and after one out, Kyle Kolb tripled down the right line to score Baker. A sacrifice fly by Austin Wood brought Kolb home and gave the Trolls the 3-1 lead.

The Trolls increased their lead in the fifth inning when a couple of hits and an error led to another run for a 4-1 lead. After a quiet sixth inning, Clarke edged closer with a run in the bottom of the seventh to pull to within two runs.

The game took a turn in the bottom of the eighth when Clarke had four hits to score five runs.  The Pride scored the first run on a triple. A walk and a couple of singles scored the tying run and loaded the bases. Two sacrifice flies followed by a double gave Clarke three more runs as they took over the lead at 7-4.

The Trolls needed to come up big with the bats in the top of the ninth, but were three up and three down to end the game.

Trinity and Clarke each had 11 hits for the game. Baker, Tyler Sroczynski, Dan Budde, and Kyle VanKalker each had two hits while Kolb and Wood each had two RBI. Dan Vos pitched seven innings and gave up four runs on eight hits. Rory Gard pitched one inning for three hits and three runs and the loss.

The team will play the loser of the game between No. 2 Tennessee Wesleyan University and No. 3 Madonna University (MI).