CCAC Tournament Runs End for Trolls

Once again it was No. 4 Robert Morris University (Chicago, Illinois) that handed the No. 5 Trolls a loss in the CCAC Championship at Route 66 Stadium in Joliet, Illinois.  The 2-0 final to the Eagles eliminated the Trolls from the tournament.  The loss came after Trinity had knocked out No. 2 University of St. Francis (Joliet, Illinois) with an 8-1 win in their first game of the day.  

In the game against St. Francis, both teams came out swinging. The Trolls put runners in scoring position in the top of the first and St. Francis scored one run on two hits in the bottom half. The game stayed in that 1-0 scored for the next four innings.  The Trolls, with John VanderWall on the mound, did not allow a hit in those four innings. On the flip side they registered only one hit in that stretch.

In the top of the sixth inning the Trolls loaded the bases and scored on run on a balk and took the lead at 2-1 on a single RBI by Josh Caceres.  In the following inning Austin Wood tripled and scored on a balk to extend the team’s lead. The Trolls kept things going in the eighth inning when Chris Baker started the bat with a home run. Jake Tholl followed with a double and that run scored on a sacrifice fly to left field by Will Kulcher to make it 5-1

While St. Francis was more active on the bases in the final innings, the Trolls were able to keep them from scoring. The Trolls made things more difficult for the Saints in the ninth inning when they added three more runs. Two of those scored on a single by Alex Nisle and another scored in a single by Caceres.  With three up and three down in the bottom of the ninth the team secured the 8-1 win.

The Trolls had 11 hits in the game and St. Francis had six. Baker ended the game with three hits while Caceres and Ryan Stejskal each had two.  VanderWall recorded the win with 6.2 innings pitched and Bryan Vanderlee got the save as he finished the game.

There was not a lot of offensive production in the second game of the day with Robert Morris. Trinity only had three hits for the game and was base in only three innings. Robert Morris had six hits, but only had multiple hits in one inning. Their two runs in the game came in the same inning.  

The Trolls went three up and three down in each of the first three innings. Their first hit of the game came on a single by Baker in the fourth inning. By that time they were down 2-0 as Robert Morris scored twice in the second inning. In that inning Robert Morris had two hits.

Trinity’s best opportunity to score came in the fifth inning when they got runners on second and third. In the final four innings the Trolls were on base only one more time.  

The three hits for the Trolls came from Baker, Caceres, and Wood. Vanderlee was on the mound for five innings for the loss.

The Trolls will continue post-season play as they host Hannibal-LaGrange University in the NCCAA Region Tournament. Details are yet to be determined.