Sophomore Noah Visconti led Trinity Knights baseball through a grinding home playoff win over the Riverside Prep Silver Knights on Tuesday.
Visconti shined bright on the mound and at the plate in the 4-3 win in a game coach Trevor Brown knew would push one of his two sophomore pitchers.
“Both of our starters [Visconti and John Carlson] have kept us in games and given us the opportunity to win a lot of baseball games,” Brown told the Signal in a phone interview. “They definitely have kept us in games. We try to limit pitches because we only have a couple guys that come in behind them and they credit the defense because they are always doing a good job. Noah did well at the plate too. He was a catalyst for us scoring in every inning we scored.”
Visconti allowed three hits and two runs with three strikeouts in his five-inning stint on the mound Tuesday. The sophomore also finished a game-high three hits at the plate.
Riverside (18-8-3) repeatedly threatened to score, but Visconti and reliever Brandon Chase held on for the win. Trinity (18-3) escaped three innings with the hses loaded thanks to some big-time pitching and strong defense.
Outfielder Sam Robertson made a huge diving catch that led to a double play at second base to escape one bases-loaded jam. Chase escaped one of the other jams with one of his two strikeouts.
Senior Gabe Chavez scored the fourth and eventual game-winning run in the fourth inning on a passed ball. Chavez, a Pacific University commit, finished 1-for-3 with a double.
Brown knew the Silver Knights had plenty of options in the bullpen to Trinity’s one or two relievers. The coach had a feeling his team and pitchers would be pushed in the playoff game.
“We had to run our pitcher over 100 pitches, and we don’t have more than a few guys,” Brown said. “Riverside seemed like they had plenty of options. We had to play perfect baseball to win that game and we did.”
Riverside also utilized a pair of standout sophomores on the hill. The team was led by starter Cayman Pluma, who allowed five hits and one earned run while fanning seven Trinity batters.
The Knights will return to their home field at the Hart baseball complex for their third straight playoff game. Trinity will welcome the No. 1 Bloomington Bruins (24-3).
Both teams enter the Division 6 quarterfinals with a ton of momentum on their sides. The Knights are riding high on an 18-game win streak while the Bruins are winners of nine of their last 10 games, including a 19-6 postseason win over Loara.
“We definitely have a little good luck on our side,” Brown said. “They don’t call it home field advantage for nothing. Being able to get our pregame routines in normally is big. Three home playoff games in a row doesn’t happen very often, so it’s luck of the draw. It’s really cool to see. The boys are very excited.”
The Knights will have a big upset on their hands if they want to punch their ticket to the semifinals. Trinity looks to remain unbeaten at home on Friday when the team welcomes Bloomington at 3:15 p.m.