For the third time in two days Sunday, the Hendrix College baseball team suffered a one-run defeat to Trinity University, the fourth-ranked team in the nation.
The visiting Tigers (29-6) won Sunday's game 9-8 to secure first place in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference West Division. The Warriors (20-17) have also secured the second seed out of the West with a 10-7 record for the SCAC Tournament in Millington, Tenn., beginning April 26.
Before the game, Hendrix honored its senior class of 2012 — Andrew Thames, Kyle Raskin, Mark Vlaskamp, Nathan Harr, Ted Smoyer, Geoff Lomax, Clark Sims, Matt Diehl and Aaron Bowen — playing in the final home game of their careers.
Both offenses came out of the gate quickly, with Hendrix taking a 7-6 lead after two innings. The Tigers' Nick Pappas drove in two on a single en route to a three-run first inning. The Warriors responded with four runs in the first, including a three-run double by Raskin. After three more runs from TU in the second, Hendrix answered with three of its own, with Vlaskamp getting hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, Sims drawing a bases loaded walk and sophomore Collin Radack recording a sacrifice fly, scoring freshman Matt Simmons.
Sims doubled to start the fourth and scored on a base hit by Harr to give the Warriors an 8-6 advantage. The Tigers answered with three runs in the fifth with a two-run single by designated hitter Dominick Robusto proving to be the winning hit. The bullpens kicked in after the top of the fifth as neither team gave up a run the rest of the game.
Sims added more school records to his collecting by going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and a double. The North Little Rock native tied the school record of 203 career hits held by Billy Schewee (1998-01) and tied the record for games played with 156. Sims also scored his 52nd run of the year, passing Daniel Ward's mark of 51 set in 2008. With Raskin's three-run double, the shortstop from Simi Valley, Calif. extended his hitting streak to 15 games. FreshmanBrady Newville also had two hits and Radack went 0-for-4, but still managed to drive in two runs.
Second baseman Kevin Clements went 4-of-5 with a run scored, two RBI, a double and a stolen base to lead the Tigers at the plate. Robustuo went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two knocked in.
Despite Tiger starter Kyle Bogese being chased in the second with no outs after allowing four hits and six runs, Franklin Bay (2-0) threw five innings of relief, allowing five hits and a run with two strikeouts to get the win. Tanner Barron earned the save, allowing a walk and strikeout in 1.2 innings. Warrior freshman Nick Land (0-2) lasted 4.2 innings, giving up 10 hits, nine runs, three walks and two strikeouts. Diehl and sophomore Justin Mosbey pitched well in relief, combining to give up just two hits and a walk in 4.1 innings.
Hendrix will wrap up the regular season in Georgetown, Texas, for a three-game series at Southwestern University on Saturday and Sunday.