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TRINITY BASEBALL 2019 Season Recap

Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College baseball team, led by Head Coach Bryan Adamski (5th season), returned to NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012 this spring, capping off its most successful season in years with a trip to the regional finals at home in Hartford. The Bantams finished the season with a 30-9 record, ultimately falling to Babson in the NCAA Tournament regional finals. For a team that missed out on the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Tournament due to losing out on the tiebreaker for second place in the East, this year’s squad helped return the program to prominence and should compete for years to come on the national stage.

The Bantams opened the season with three-straight victories, including a season-opening 5-4 triumph over No. 8-ranked Southern Maine at home. The team then went on to defeat MIT the following day as part of the Bantam Baseball Bonanza at Murren Family Field at DiBenedetto Stadium before heading south for the Bantam Southern Classic in South Carolina. There, Trinity clobbered Roger Williams, 17-3, before dropping back-to-back contests. The team responded in a major way, however, rattling off 11 consecutive wins that stretched into the month of April.

Trinity defeated Salve Regina, 7-3, before coming back to defeat Wheaton, 5-4, upon returning to New England. The Bantams then traveled to Maine to open up NESCAC East play where they would sweep Bowdoin to start the divisional schedule 3-0. In game one against the Polar Bears, junior Andrew DeRoche (North Reading, Mass.) earned the win with 7.1 innings of work and three hits allowed. On Saturday, rookie Will Simeone (Milton, Mass.) threw a complete game shutout in game one, striking out six while allowing just three hits, before the team cruised to a 7-2 win in game two to complete the series sweep. Senior tri-captain Johnny Stamatis (Ridgefield, Conn.) and sophomore Vincent Capone (Ambler, Pa.) both recorded three hits and two RBIs in the third game to help lead the way offensively. Simeone was named NESCAC Pitcher of the Week following his stellar outing.

DeReroche '20 (left) & Capone '21 (right)

The squad won two more non-conference matchups before dropping two-of-three to Bates the following weekend. Trinity bounced back with a five game winning streak, highlighted by another divisional sweep, this time of Colby. DeRoche improved to 4-1 with eight strikeouts in 7.1 innings in an 8-0 game one victory before the Bantams came from behind twice on Saturday to take the series. On Saturday, Stamatis stole three bases in the doubleheader to break the Trinity season and career records for stolen bases on the same day.

The winning streak was snapped with a loss to Nichols on April 15th but once again the team responded with five more wins in a row. The team closed out the month of April with a NESCAC East series versus Tufts which the Bantams won just once, 7-1, in the finale. First-year Cameron Crowley (Downers Grove, Ill.) tossed a four-hitter with three strikeouts, improving his season record to 7-0, to help lead the way. Senior Tyler Buckley (Mount Kisco, N.Y.) had a three hit afternoon while classmate Ben Reinisch (Troy, N.Y.), junior tri-captain Alex Rodriguez (South Windsor, Conn.) and sophomore Robbie Cronin (Wellesley Hills, Mass.) each tallied a pair of knocks as well. The Bantams finished the regular season with wins over Union and Wesleyan, but after missing the NESCAC Tournament, the team anxiously awaited its NCAA Tournament fate for a week after its final regular season game.

Reinisch '19 (top), Crowley '22 (left) and Buckley '19 (right)

Trinity was rewarded for its stellar season with not only a bid to the tournament, but also by being named a regional host. Trinity entered the tournament ranked as the No. 3 team in New England and opened regional play with an 11-3 win over Salve Regina. Reinisch and Stamatis both crushed home runs in the first inning while DeRoche was steady on the bump, picking up the victory thanks to a six inning effort with just one earned run and three strikeouts. Senior tri-captain southpaw Erik Mohl (Milton, Mass.) came on in relief of DeRoche and was steady as ever, allowing just one hit in two innings.

Johnny Stamatis '19

On Saturday of the regional tournament, Trinity fell to Babson, 4-1, forcing an elimination game against Salve Regina later that afternoon. The Bantams kept their run alive with a wild, 7-2 win over the Seahawks thanks in part to a five run eighth inning. Junior Matt Koperniak (Adams, Mass.) went 5-for-5 with two home runs, three RBIs and three runs scored to help lead the way as Trinity and Babson were set to square off on Sunday with a spot in the super regionals on the line.

Rodriguez '20 (left) and Koperniak '20 (right)

Trinity won game one against the Beavers on Sunday thanks to 12 runs on 18 hits, led by Buckley who was 4-for-5 with two solo home runs, three runs scored and two stolen bases. Cronin also had a big day, going 3-for-4 with a homer, four RBIs and a stolen base as the Bantams forced a winner-take-all game with Babson for the second game of the day. Trinity led, 2-0, in that game, until the sixth inning when Babson scored six runs, ultimately winning 10-3 and ending the Bantams’ season.

After the season, Koperniak was named to the All-NESCAC First Team while Stamatis, Rodriguez and Crowley each earned Second Team honors. Koperniak led the Bantams with a .394 batting average, along with team-highs in hits with 63 (1st in NESCAC), doubles with 13 (T2nd in NESCAC), triples with three, home runs with six (T3rd in NESCAC), total bases with 100, and a NESCAC-best slugging percentage of .625. He added 36 runs, 31 RBIs, 23 walks, a .476 on-base percentage and 22 steals. Stamatis led the team with 45 runs (2nd in NESCAC), three triples, 30 walks (2nd in NESCAC), nine doubles, three homers, 32 RBI, a .467 slugging percentage and a .426 on-base percentage. Rodriguez led the Bantams in RBIs with a 33 (4th in NESCAC), to go with 20 runs, 38 hits in 129 at-bats, 11 doubles, two homers, and a .426 slugging percentage. Crowley emerged as dominant pitcher in his first collegiate season, leading the NESCAC in wins with eight (tied) in 63.1 innings pitched. He was 8-2 overall in 13 appearances and eight starts, allowing just 45 hits in his 63-plus innings with a complete game, 28 strikeouts and a 2.42 ERA (3rd in NESCAC).

Trinity also had a successful year in the classroom as well. Stamatis was named to the 2019 Google Cloud Academic All-District Baseball Team, selected by CoSIDA, and joined classmate Brad Whitman (Salisbury, Mass.), Capone and sophomores Joseph Celio (West Hartford, Conn.), and Gianni Valentini (Cranston, R.I.) on the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Spring All-Academic Team. Stamatis was additionally chosen to represent the team on the NESCAC Spring All-Sportsmanship Team.

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