May 28th, 2018

Ballard shocks Trinity and advances to semis

Jeff Woods 

Staff Writer 


Ballard shocks Trinity and advances to semis
The Ballard and Trinity coaching staffs meet before the game / photo by Jeff Woods

Monday provided us with another reminder that baseball is arguably the most unpredictable sport in high school athletics.

Trinity’s fifth-ranked baseball team run toward the state tournament ended in the opening round of the 7th region tournament, losing 2-1 to Ballard The fifth-ranked Shamrocks’ season ends with a final record of 28-7.

“It ended today because we got beat by a team that played better than we did,” said Trinity head coach Rick Arnold. “They pitched a little bit better, they hit a little bit better and they executed better. In single elimination regional play, the team that executes better is going to win no matter the ranking or anything else. And they did that today.”

The play of the game was the final out. Down 2-1 with a runner on second and two outs, Ben Metzinger singled to left field. With Trinity’s Josh Castleman heading for home, Ballard’s Trevor Greenwald made a great throw to the plate and Castleman was tagged out by Zach Noe to deny the Shamrocks the game-tying run and end the game.

“I saw (Metzinger) hit the ball in the gap and he had already hit two doubles in the day. I was honestly a little worried when he hit the ball,” said Ballard pitcher Nolan Pender, who threw a complete game with seven strikeouts. “I saw (Greenwald) had gotten the ball and was already throwing it in as Metzinger was rounding the base. I knew he was gunned as soon as he came up throwing.”

The game was a pitcher’s duel through the first five innings. The Bruins (12-16) finally broke through in the top of the sixth when Trinity reliever Nick Carroll gave up a bases-loaded walk to Ben Collins to put Ballard on top 1-0. The Bruins added one more when Carroll’s wild pitch scored Riley Monheimer. In all, the Shamrocks walked three batters in the inning and committed one error and a wild pitch.

“The walks. It didn’t come down to anything other than walking a couple of guys at inopportune times. To their credit they were patient enough and disciplined enough to make it happen,” said Arnold.

Trinity (28-7) immediately responded in the bottom half of the inning. After a leadoff double by Metzinger, Daylen Lile hit a double of his own and scored Metzinger to make it a 2-1 game. Pender walked Hunter David two batters later but managed to get out of the jam.

Senior Max Medley led off the bottom of the 7th with a walk. Castleman entered the game as a courtesy runner and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Pender struck out Matthew Ramser for the second out which brought Metzinger to the plate and would lead to the final out.

“We’re just really thrilled. We have a lot of younger guys this year but we have some seniors that have put a lot of work in,” said Ballard hitting coach Bo Akers. “Obviously we want to keep going and we’re going to keep doing everything we can to keep grinding and win as many as we can here in a row. But for those seniors, this is a huge moment for them.”

For Trinity, the loss is a difficult pill to swallow, but coach Arnold says one game is not reflective of the Shamrocks’ season as a whole.

“We’re a great baseball team,” Rick Arnold said. We weren’t better today so we’re not moving on to play Male or Central tomorrow, but it’s a great season. I’ve got 13 seniors that I wouldn’t trade for anybody. This will sting. It stings me right now. It will sting them a lot longer than it will me because I’ve been through much more of these than they have. At the end of the day, we’ll be back and we’ll be better.”

 

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