Shaky pitching, lack of hitting dooms Trinity in doubleheader
NATCHEZ — Trinity Episcopal had the upper hand in their second round Class A playoff series against Riverfield.
After defeating the Raiders on the road Tuesday night, the Saints had to only win one game at home Thursday in order to advance to the South State championship series.
However, a lack of consistent pitching and hitting doomed Trinity to defeat, as they lost Game 2 of the best-of-three series 17-11 and then lost nightcap 11-3 to end their season with a 19-7 record.
“(Riverfield) just outplayed us,” Trinity coach Mitch Ashmore said. “Our hat is off to them. They put the ball in play and made the defensive plays they needed to make. They just played better than we did.”
Trinity actually jumped out on top 5-1 in the first inning of the first game, but Riverfield used an eight-run fourth inning to turn an 8-4 deficit into a 12-8 lead.
Trinity chipped away at the lead and made the score 12-10, but the Raiders scored four more runs in the sixth inning to put the game away.
Both teams had 13 hits in the game, but Trinity pitchers Jake Winston, Daniel Dunaway and Andrew Moroney combined to walk or hit 16 Riverfield batters.
The second game of the doubleheader didn’t turn out any better for the Saints.
After a scoreless first two innings, Riverfield broke out on top with two runs in the top of the third.
After Trinity answered with a run in the bottom of the inning, the Raiders put the game away with four runs in the top of the fourth and five more runs in the top of the fifth.
Trinity scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to avoid the 10-run mercy rule, but could not score any more and saw its season come to an end.
Riverfield pitcher Kyle King pulled yeoman’s work, pitching a complete game in the first game, and then pitching the first four innings of the second game to pick up the win in both contests.
“You don’t see that very often,” Ashmore said. “You just tip your hat to him.”
Trinity could manage only five hits in the second game, all of them singles.
“Once things started to go their way, we couldn’t get anything going,” Ashmore said. “And before you know it, the season is over.”