The Truman State baseball team was in full swing last week with games against nationally ranked Washburn University Thursday and rival GLVC conference member William Jewell College with two sets of double headers Saturday and Sunday.
The ‘Dogs began Thursday against Washburn for a non-conference game. The team started strong with a two-run first inning off a deep corner ball by senior outfielder Jarod Hahn, but Washburn took the lead with a three-run homer during the third inning and another three-run hit during the fourth.
The Bulldogs came charging back with four runs during the fourth inning. During the fifth inning, junior outfielder T.J. Wood made a diving deep field catch for the ‘Dogs’ defense. Senior first baseman Paul Trenhaile tacked on two more runs to make the score 10-6.
The Bulldogs finished the game with the same score and a strong victory against the nationally ranked Washburn Ichabods. Freshman pitcher Nate Lukas earned his first collegiate win.
“It was a great win against Washburn,” Hahn says. “They are still in the MIAA which is a very good conference, so it was good to see that we competed against them.”
Saturday and Sunday the team travelled to current GLVC West leader William Jewell for two days of double headers.
Saturday, the Bulldogs and the Cardinals split, with the Cardinals claiming the first victory and the Bulldogs taking the next game.
The first game of the weekend started with seven scoreless innings led by junior pitcher Mark Roberts with RBI singles from Trenhaile and a sacrifice ground out from junior third baseman Chris Iliopouloos.
The Bulldogs led 3-0 headed into the bottom of the ninth but a walk-off home run stole the game from the ‘Dogs.
The Bulldogs came barking back during the next game as they claimed a victory 6-5, tying the lead during the fifth inning and eventually taking it by the end of their at-bat. The Cardinals put up a fight, but senior pitcher Cody Gardner earned his fourth win of the season and his fourth complete game of the year.
“We believe in each other and the system that we have in place,” Gardner says. “If we play up to our potential we could beat anybody.”
Sunday the two teams squared off with another split as the Bulldogs took game one and the Cardinals won the nightcap. Hahn hit three home runs Sunday during the two games.
The ‘Dogs added to their scores thanks to bombs from Trenhaile and sophomore first baseman Dave Gambino.
Freshman pitcher Kent Frantz won his fifth game of the season and kept his perfect record for the season intact during the first game Sunday. The ‘Dogs took an early lead and never let go despite a fight from the Cardinals.
During the second game, the Bulldogs took the lead 4-2 but the Cardinals came back to take the game 5-4 on a ninth inning walk-off.
“Looking forward, we’re hoping to put it all together,” Trenhaile says. “We also need to make sure we stay healthy as we’re into the meat of our schedule but we always want to keep playing hard.”
The Bulldogs are set to face Rockhurst University Friday, April 3 at noon at the Bulldog Baseball Park.