MANSFIELD Conn. – The defending champs are sitting pretty.
Trinity, who posted a 45-1 mark and brought home the Division III National Championship last season, moved to 3-0 in New England Regional play with a convincing 14-0 win over WPI last night.
The evening win came after the Bantams downed Southern Maine 6-0 in the morning.
“We made the decision to go back to campus and get off our feet,” head coach Bill Decker said. “We knew it was going to be a long day, but we have a lot of faith in our kids to do the right thing.”
Derek Anderson (5-2) followed up senior Jeremiah Bayer’s complete game in the morning with a gem of his own. The junior struck out nine in eight innings, holding the Engineers to three hits.
“I was dominant with my fastball and changeup,” Anderson said. “I was throwing a few curveballs in there too, but mixing up the fastball and the change was really what kept them off balance.”
The Bantams got on the board quickly in the top of first when junior James Wood lined a one out double off freshman Sean Minor (5-3) to plate junior Matt Sullivan for a 1-0 lead.
After giving away four runs thanks to four third inning errors, WPI failed to respond in the bottom half of the inning.
Third seeded Trinity took advantage, adding three runs in the top of the fourth, highlighted by senior Sean Kileen’s ringing triple off the right field wall to score Sullivan from first.
Minor went three and two-thirds inning, allowing eight runs (four earned).
It wasn’t a good night for WPI, as they finished with more errors (seven) then hits (four).
“It was just a tough day,” Engineer head coach Mike Callahan said. “Those are the defending national champions, so you can’t make too many mistakes against them.”
With the way Anderson was throwing, WPI could ill-afford to give Trinity extra chances to push runs across.
“That lefty was tough,” Callahan said. “I don’t care if it was 1-0 or a hundred to nothing, we didn’t score a run on him. He did a great job.”
After their first loss of the tournament, the fourth seeded Engineers (30-12) will place today at 2 p.m. against the the winner of the Husson and Easter Connecticut game. Third seeded Trinity (32-5) is off today.