AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Thomas College baseball team dropped back-to-back games as they opened the 2018 season. In the first game, the Terriers came up short to Knox College, 4-3, and, followed with a 13-1 loss to Hope College in game two.
Game 1: Knox 4, Thomas 3
The Terriers pushed across a pair of runs in the bottom of the first as Connor Rittenhouse (Dover, N.H.) reached on a fielder's choice to score Ryan Scepansky (Blandon, Pa.) and Tyler Gee (Falmouth, Maine) who scored on an error.
The Prairie Fire cut the lead in half in the top of the third as Brendon Powers doubled to score Adam Brown. In the next inning, Knox took control of the lead on solo homeruns from Spencer Bauer and Brady Sember. Matt McCaffrey doubled in Powers in the fifth to make it a 4-2 game.
Trevan Lowtharp picked up the win for Knox in 6.1 innings, allowing four hits and three runs (one earned). Stryker Davis recorded his first save in 2.2 innings, holding the Terriers to one hit and no runs.
Dominic Esposito (Portland, Maine) was given the loss for Thomas in five innings of work, six hits, four runs, and five strikeouts. Thomas Paola (Bar Harbor, Maine), Dylan Copeland (Salisbury, Mass.), and Brandon Hubbard (New Gloucester, Maine) combined for four innings, each allowing one hit and no runs.
Game 2: Hope 13, Thomas 1
Thomas starter Matt Rutherford (Saco, Maine) held the Flying Dutch scoreless through the first four innings until Jordan Fairchild scored Evan Maday on a sacrifice fly. Nick Lepore extended the lead to two runs as he came in on a wild pitch.
In the top of the sixth, the Terriers cut the deficit in half on an RBI single from Alex Curtis (Monmouth, Maine), bringing in Kelly.
Hope began to pull away later on as their offense exploded for 11 unanswered runs, including seven in the eighth inning. Highlighting the Flying Dutch's scoring spree was a two-RBI homerun from Mason Opple, a two-RBI single from Hayden Smith, and a two-RBI double from Brant Kym.
Sam Balke took the win on the mound for Hope in 5.2 innings, giving up two hits and one run while striking out five.
Rutherford was handed the loss in 4.2 innings of work, allowing four hits and two runs.
The Terriers return to action tomorrow, March 20 as they face Farmingdale State in a doubleheader.