Belton, Texas - Trinity's baseball team erased a 2-0 deficit to defeat the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor 5-3 on Tuesday evening.
The Tigers improved to 10-1 this season with the win, which was the fifth consecutive victory over the Crusaders. Trinity has swept the two-game regular season series each of the past two seasons, while UMHB's last wins came when the team swept two games from the Tigers in 2009.
Trinity fell behind in the bottom of the first, after UMHB turned a leadoff walk and two stolen bases into an easy scoring chance. The Crusaders then added another run in the fourth to take the 2-0 lead, and the Tigers had just two hits through the first five innings of the game.
In the sixth, Nick Pappas finally got Trinity on the board with a leadoff home run, and the Tigers scored at least once in every inning after that. Trinity took the lead with a two-run seventh that featured a leadoff single, and a bases-loaded bunt single that tied the game.
After Trinity plated another run in the eighth, Mary Hardin-Baylor struck back with a leadoff homer of its own in the bottom of the inning, cutting the lead to 4-3, and chasing Trinity starter Josh Fink out of the game. The Tigers added an insurance run in the ninth, but reliever Michael Bentz struck out the side in the ninth to shut the door.
Fink improved to 3-0 on the year, giving up three runs on four hits in seven-plus innings, striking out seven batters. Bentz earned his second save of the season by allowing just one hit over the final two innings, striking out five batters.
The homer by Pappas was his only hit of the game, but it sparked Trinity's offense to five hits and five runs over the final four innings. It was also the 20th home run in his career, tying him for a spot in the top 10 in school history.
Dominick Robusto was 2-3 with one run and one RBI, driving in the tying run with the bunt single in the seventh. Kevin Francke was 1-2 on the day, and scored the eventual game-winning run on an error by UMHB.
Trinity will resume Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play this weekend, facing off against the University of Dallas on Saturday and Sunday. Currently, Trinity and Dallas are leading the SCAC West Division with 2-0 SCAC records to start the year.