Trinity’s quest for an undefeated season came to a halt on Tuesday afternoon in Appleton, Wisc., as Johns Hopkins scored the winning run on a wild pitch third strike in the ninth to down the Bantams 4-3. A win would have clinched the Division III World Series championship for Trinity, but instead the two teams receive a 30-minute breather before facing off in a decisive game at 3 p.m.
Hopkins (42-7) became the first team in 2008 to defeat the Bantams (44-1) thanks to a complete-game effort from Chez Angeloni. Angeloni scattered nine hits and a walk while allowing just three runs and striking out eight.
Angeloni’s outing was matched by Trinity ace Tim Kiely. Pitching on three days rest, Kiely delivered his second complete game of the World Series, but came up on the losing end of a decision for the first time all year. Kiely struck out 11 while allowing the Blue Jays nine hits.
Kiely faced a jam with the score tied 3-3 with one out in the top of the ninth and pinch-runner Issac Katz on third. Just as he has done all year, Kiely delivered for the Bantams, but even a strikeout wasn’t enough. Hopkins second baseman Nate Adelman swung and missed at a breaking ball in the dirt that escaped Trinity catcher Sean Killeen. Katz barely beat the tag at home, giving Hopkins the lead.
The depth of both pitching staffs will be tested in the deciding game as Hopkins plays its sixth game in five days. Trinity’s bullpen has had some rest thanks to Monday’s off day, along with two complete games from Kiely.
Killeen briefly gave the Bantams a 3-2 lead in the fifth with a two-run double into the left-center-field gap, before second baseman Matt Benchener tied the game for Hopkins in the top of the sixth with one of his two RBIs on an infield single.