PRINCETON — Timely hits and defensive stops by Mendota helped the Trojans sweep a doubleheader against the Princeton Tigers Saturday afternoon in Princeton.
Mendota won the first game 2-1. It was a defensive battle as each team only combined for eight total hits while the bats came alive in the second game as Mendota edged Princeton 6-4.
“We were just down. We did not play to the level that we can play I think we played down a little bit today,” Princeton coach Tim Taylor said. “Everything we hit went right to them capped off by the last line drive at the end (of game two) to the second basemen, and that’s just the way our at bats were all day, they were getting those little duck snorts to fall in and we just couldn’t buy those types of hits today.”
Princeton jumped out front early in the bottom of the first inning after a sacrifice bunt by first basemen Logan Wilde scored starting pitcher/center fielder Isaiah Taylor to take an early 1-0 lead.
Mendota answered in their very next at bat tying the game 1-1 on a bases loaded walk. The Trojans failed to capitalize further on their early scoring opportunities, leaving the bases loaded each of the first three innings while only scoring one run.
The bats for both sides fell silent until the seventh inning when Mendota finally platted the game winning run when a sacrifice fly by Shane Kruse scored first basemen Garet Zinke to give the Trojans a 2-1 victory.
Princeton had an opportunity to answer in the bottom half of the seventh with two outs and runner on second as shortstop/relief pitcher Jake Reinhardt made nice connection on a line drive but hit it directly at the right fielder to end the game.
The second game of the day was tied 1-1 after two innings for the second time of the day when the Trojans offense platted five runs in the third and fourth innings giving Mendota a 6-1 edge.
The scoring surge was highlighted by a two-out, bases loaded double which found the gap in right center by center fielder Evan Schultz that cleared the bases.
Princeton struggled at the plate with the starting pitcher of Spencer Evans, who took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before first basemen Logan Wilde’s made connection with two outs, sending a sinking line drive to center field for the first hit of the game for the Tigers.
The Tigers used the momentum from Wilde’s single to chase Evans from the game and capitalized with two outs as the next two Tiger batters got on base, paving the way for two-run single to right field by third basemen Caleb Dickens, which cut the Mendota lead in half at 6-3.
A fielder’s choice in the bottom of the seventh inning allowed starting pitcher Zach Friel to cross the plate, rounding out the scoring at 6-4.
“We’re so close to breaking loose, I really believe that. These guys if they could get one game that they really open it up like I know they can, they’ll start putting it together after they get a game like that,” Taylor said. “These guys have not played together as a team until this year, so I think once they get that confidence they will really start to click on all cylinders.”
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