TRINITY — Unable to complete the sweep of Eastern Randolph in the final week of the regular season, Trinity took the rubber match in the first round of the Piedmont Athletic Conference tournament on Monday.
The Bulldogs settled the score with a 7-5 victory over the Wildcats after the crew from Ramseur handed Trinity a 4-1 loss the previous week. It didn’t come easy for the Bulldogs on Monday, as the host trailed by a run in the sixth.
“They punched us in the mouth last week,” Trinity coach Ryan Spencer said. “They’re a really good baseball team. Their record may say otherwise, but they’re talented, they’ve got great coaching, they do a good job, they don’t quit. They’re going to make some noise in 1-A, and I’m pulling for them to do that.
“We got punched in the mouth on Wednesday, and it was a sour taste. Tonight I thought we responded well when bad things happened. We were down in the sixth, 3-2, with one out and nobody on and scored five.”
That five-run rally began with a walk and two singles to load the bases for Gage Griffiths. The sophomore pushed a bunt down the first base line, forcing the first baseman to deliver an accurate throw home.
Instead, the throw skipped shy of the plate and skidded away. Two runs scored, giving Trinity the lead.
It was at that point that a pair of Bulldog freshmen got involved. Brody Little brought another run home with another bunt single. Walker Parrish’s RBI double capped the rally. In between, a stolen base brought home the team’s sixth run on the throw to second base.
The strategy of stringing together bunts, both of the sacrifice and hit variety, was born of necessity and of the elements. Besides the fact the Bulldogs (14-9, 9-4 PAC-7) were having a difficult time getting much going against Eastern Randolph (4-17, 2-11 PAC-7), a steady rain also aided the process.
“We like to bunt, but tonight we took it to the extreme,” Spencer said. “I felt like we were having success with it, and the conditions obviously helped.”
Trinity senior Cade Hill picked up the win. He pitched all seven innings, scattering five runs and battling through a pesky Wildcat batting order.
“That’s Cade; he’s our dog,” Spencer said. “We love playing behind him. He’s been that way for two years now. In any big game, he’s going to get the ball and he always wants it. He counts on his defense to make plays and allows the defense to play behind him.”
At press deadline, Trinity was scheduled to take on Uwharrie Charter on Tuesday. The winner of that game is set to take on the winner of Randleman-Providence Grove in the PAC-7 tournament final at Randleman tonight.
Check next week’s edition of the A-T News for finalized results from the conference tourney, as well as playoff seedings and pairings for the NCHSAA 2-A postseason.
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