Crusaders fall to Trinity University Tigers

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Andrew Magness pitches against Trinity University at home. Photo courtesy of UD Athletics.

This past week the University of Dallas Crusaders played a stretch of four home games against Blackburn College and the Trinity University Tigers.

The Crusaders started off on Thursday against Blackburn, losing the game in ten innings. Junior Zach Taylor hit a solo home run in the game for his second homer of the season.

After losing to Blackburn, UD started conference play against Trinity in a three-game series.

In the first game, neither team scored until the third inning when with the bases loaded, senior center fielder Jordan Stickler singled to right field to score senior designated hitter Joseph Griesbauer. Senior catcher Jessup Scott then drove in sophomore shortstop Joseph Vondrachek on an infield fly, giving the Crusaders a 2-0 lead.

Trinity responded with a combined 10 runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings of the game. The Crusaders tried to fight back as Scott hit his first career home run in the bottom of the ninth but were unable to overcome the deficit and lost 10-4.

“I was just trying to hit a ball hard and get something started since I led off the inning,” Scott said about hitting his first career home run.

In game two, the Tigers scored first in the third inning when right fielder Jake Martin hit a home run to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead. The Tigers would go on to score two runs in each of the fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings of the ballgame.

The Crusaders matched the Tigers’ run production for the eighth inning when senior second basemen Josh Abalos and Stickler both scored on balks for the first Crusaders’ runs of the game. It would prove not to be enough, however, as the Tigers took game two 9-2.

In game three, the Crusaders scored first when in the first inning, Stickler scored on a fielder’s choice by senior left fielder Luke Boylson. Neither team scored again until the third inning, when second baseman Logan Morrison homered for the Tigers, making it a 1-1 game. The Tigers would go on to score two runs in the fourth, and one in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings of the ballgame.

The Crusaders fought back with two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning and one in the eighth to put them within one of the Tigers, but we unable to tie the game as the Tigers sealed the game with four runs in the ninth, winning the game 10-5.

“We are going to build on this weekend, and learn from our mistakes so that it will make us a better team moving forward,” Head Coach Erik Grafton said of the team’s performance in conference play. “If we keep getting better each day, then I like our chances against anybody.”

This week the Crusaders head on the road to face the Centenary College of Louisiana in conference play. First pitch of the three-game series is on Saturday, March 23 at 1 p.m.

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