DIII Baseball: How Trinity (Texas) captured 2016 DIII Championship in Appleton
It was certainly a memorable five days in Appleton, Wisconsin. There was as much rain as there was home runs, as many hours of delays as their were unforgettable defensive plays. At the end, Trinity (TX) and its lineup were simply too much to handle.
Drew Butler won the tournament Most Valuable Player honors with a huge Tuesday in Trinity’s championship series sweep over Keystone. The senior catcher went 7-for-11 in both games, scoring four runs and driving in seven more.
“I think it built up in the tournament,” Butler said. “I wouldn’t say I was disappointed with how I performed early in the tournament, I felt like I was squaring the ball up and seeing it very well. Two or three balls went to the warning track, so I knew I was just a tick off.
“Today, was just me seeing the ball well and all of that coming together, and seeing the ball a second longer and putting good swings on it. Today things went our way. Our whole offense worked together. It was amazing.”
It was a hard fought battle. Every time that Trinity’s high-octane offense would take the lead, there was Keystone chipping away. While neither game was a pitcher’s duel, the defense on both teams was spectacular.
“What an unbelievable team Keystone was,” head coach Tim Scannell said. “They’re so physical and so aggressive at the plate. They really had our backs against the wall. Thank goodness for the toughness and the grit and the determination in our team. We were literally pressed up against the wall fighting like crazy because that’s how good Keystone is.”
Trinity held on, not losing a single game in Appleton, despite fighting the weather as much as the opposition. They watched their beloved head coach win his 600th game. But that didn’t matter to him. It was win 602 that mattered. The 10-7 victory in the second game of the championship series that gave Trinity their baseball program’s first title.
“It’s a family that we created here," Scannell said. "We have fought and battled for this ultimate prize. These guys did it and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”