By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
Signal Sports Writer
The scorching-hot Trinity Classical Knights (15-4, 11-1) erased a six-run deficit and defeated Desert Christian (10-6, 6-3) in their Thursday league matchup.
Trinity’s seven-run bottom of the fifth stole every last bit of momentum from Desert and sparked the team to its ninth-straight victory.
The team was led by a trio of two-hit days from Brandon Chase, John Carlson and Anderson Howell.
Carlson, a freshman, also got the start on the bump for Trinity. Carlson did give up the bulk of the runs but was solid in his five-inning, four-strikeout and two-walk performance.
Desert Christian got it going in the second and scored the game’s first run off an RBI single from nine-hole hitter Jason Main.
Main hit a game-high 3-4.
Desert made it clear they were upset about losing 20-11 in the teams’ previous matchup and came out swinging.
“In the beginning of the game I think we came in a little high from the previous day,” said Carlson. “It got tough but we pulled it back.”
Desert pitcher Jase Pfeil brought in two more runs in the third with a big 2 RBI double.
The fifth inning would have a total of 10 runs from both teams. Desert first baseman Jacob smacked a solo home run to left to start a three-run rally.
Pfeil would score the next run on a double steal before Main brought in the sixth run with another RBI.
Pfeil was a big part of keeping Trinity at bay. The sophomore kept Trinity scoreless through four until their fifth-inning eruption.
Trinity catcher John Rocco Izzo got to the plate with two on and delivered with an RBI single to get the Knights on the board.
Chase nearly grounded out to Pfeil two at-bats later, but the Desert pitcher aimed for the double play and botched the throw to second, allowing another run to score. Trinity would score four runs before their first out, a great bunt from center fielder Sam Robertson that put two runners in scoring position.
Robertson did his job setting up Carlson for success, and the freshman came through.
Carlson smacked a deep RBI double to tie the game to chase Pfeil off the mound. The Desert starter finished his day on the mound with five strikeouts.
Two bats later, Howell would match up with relief pitcher Christopher Gonzeles. The pitcher forced a Howell ground-out but grounded into a fielder’s choice, scoring the go-ahead run.
“That’s something you don’t see a lot down by six,” said Trinity head coach Trevor Brown. “Top to bottom, that lineup through that inning, everyone executed. In high-pressure situations like that, for everyone to come through the way they did, it’s something special you don’t see a lot. I’m really proud of these guys.”
Chase would then take over on the mound but Desert would even the game with another big hit from Acosta in the sixth.
Trinity still had all the momentum, and went in for another kill in the bottom of the sixth.
Brown’s team had runners on the corners with two on and two outs. As his runners went for the double steal, Gonzeles balked, gifting Trinity the eventual game-winning run.
Chase locked in for the top of the seventh. After the junior walked his first batter, he dialed up some crafty pitches. Chase struck out Desert leadoff man Andrew Zeko to end the game and complete the comeback.
Chase allowed two hits and fanned three over two innings.
Brown has his team rolling in his first year at the helm for Trinity. The former big leaguer has had his team prepared thoroughly for each game this season, showcased by their 15-4 record.
“We have a brand new head coach Trevor Brown,” said Izzo. “He’s brought knowledge to this team that the organization has never seen before. It’s a big, giant learning curve for a lot of us but we picked it up. We’re playing good baseball.”
Trinity will have a few weeks off from league games and will head to Providence on Tuesday.