It took first-year Trinity Christian baseball coach Blake Austin just about one practice to realize this year’s edition of the Lions had plenty of pop in their bats.
The Lions have turned several contests into a game of home-run derby, sending 25 balls over the fence so far including three on Tuesday against rival Heritage.
Trinity used the power surge in the Hawks’ own backyard and rolled to a 15-4 GISA Region 1-AAA victory in a game called in the sixth inning by the mercy rule.
“We knew that this team had the capability of hitting some home runs this year,” he said. “The good thing is so many different people have been able to contribute.”
With the win, Trinity improved its record to 14-1-1 overall and 6-1 in region play. Heritage dropped to 4-8 and 2-5.
Trinity is in second place in the region standing just one game behind undefeated Dominion Christian.
Dominion Christian won the first meeting between the two teams in Marietta, but the two region teams play again at Trinity on Tuesday.
“We have several big games left,” Austin said. “We just have to keep working. We know Dominion has a really good team.
Against Heritage, the Lions took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third on Calin Smith’s two-run homer, and blew the game open with eight runs in the top of the fifth.
Alex Williford started the fifth-inning fireworks with a grand slam to to give the Lions a 6-0 lead.
Jake Estes kept things rolling for the Lions with a one-out solo homer.
Trinity continued to flex its offensive muscles in the fifth inning getting RBI doubles from Smith and Kyle Riesselmann.
The Lions’ Trevor Crews pitched 4 ⅓ innings to pick up the win. Crews finished the game six strikeouts and two walks. He retired the first eight Heritage batters he faced.
The Hawks didn’t put a runner on base until a fourth-inning walk, but Crews recovered and stuck out the side.
Heritage starting pitcher David White kept the Hawks in the contest for the first two innings, finishing with five strikeouts, including setting down all three batters he faced in the second.
The Hawks’ Chandler Retsky was hit by a pitch in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Lions got out of the innining.
Heritage didn’t produce its first hit of the game until the bottom of the fifth when it generated two runs.
Jacob Rochester started the fifth inning with a single and Henry Arnall kept the inning alive when he walked.
Rochester went to third on an error and scored the Hawks’ first run of the game on Andrew Rich’s sacrifice fly.
The Hawks cut the lead to 10-2 on White’s RBI single.
Trinity put the exclamation point on the victory with five runs in the sixth to increase the lead to 15-2.
Heritage added its final two runs in the bottom of the sixth, but Trinity clinched the victory getting back-to-back ground outs to shortstop Maury Weaver to end the game.
The Lions did their damage on nine hits, getting a 2-for-4 performance from Smith to lead the offense.
Lions 15, Hawks 4
Trinity—002 085 X—1592
HR—Jake Estes, Calin Smith, Alex Williford (Grand Slam)