Trinity baseball coach Steven Tompkins, knowing his team was on a two-game losing streak, inserted Tyler Marshall into the leadoff spot in place of Justin Howard and the strategy worked to the tune of two wins for the Shamrocks on Tuesday.
After knocking off Cincinnati LaSalle 10-1 in a day game, Trinity improved its record to 4-5 with a 10-4 romp over host Ballard under the lights.
Marshall led off the game against Ballard with a single, and added a two-run single to center field in Trinity’s five-run fourth. He drew a walk in a three-run sixth that helped push the Shamrocks’ lead to 10-1.
“Normally, I hit second,” Marshall said. “It doesn’t matter to me. I guess he put me in the leadoff spot because I had a higher on-base percentage.”
“Howard’s been struggling to get on base,” Tompkins said. “Marshall handles the bat well and has good speed. He can put pressure on the defense when he gets on base.”
Marshall, Tyler Hunt (who batted second), Connor Hill (the third hitter) and Brady Pfaadt each collected two hits in Trinity’s 11-hit attack. Adam Boone, the losing pitcher, went 3 for 4, including a two-run double off Paxton Rousseau in the seventh.
Ballard, 15th in the preseason state coaches’ poll, made five errors — four in the fourth when the unranked Shamrocks raised their lead to 6-0.
Ballard (5-3) threatened when Alex Jones reached base on an error and Nick Nonos singled off Rohleder in the fourth. The Trinity right-hander got Boone to ground out to first and struck out Travis Welton. Rohleder escaped further damage when Howard made a diving catch of Tyler Owen fly to center, saving two runs.
Marshall labeled it “great catch.” Tompkins said. “Howard made a nice play.”
“Give Trinity a lot of credit,” Ballard coach David Trager said. “Their pitchers did a great job keeping the hitters off balance.”
Trinity…001 504 0 – 10 11 1
Ballard…000 010 3 — 4 9 5
WP – Bobby Craven (1-0). LP – Adam Boone (1-3). 2B – Rick West (B), Connor Hill (T). Jay Poullard (B), Boone (B). Records – Trinity 4-5, Ballard 5-3.