Kirkwood News
Baseball - Thu, Apr. 4, 2013
Jake Triulzi
Jake Triulzi

Author- Jim Ecker- Metro Sports Report

Every successful ballclub needs a bulldog in the bullpen, somebody who's fearless and wants the ball with the game on the line.

Meet Jake Triulzi, a stocky lefthander from the St. Louis suburbs who is excelling as the closer for the Kirkwood Eagles this season.

Triulzi picked up another save Tuesday and kept his ERA at 0.00 as Kirkwood swept a doubleheader from Marshalltown, 7-4 and 10-6, on another chilly day at Kirkwood.

The Eagles, riding a seven-game winning streak, raised their record to 16-2.

Triulzi got the last four outs in Game 1 and has a 2-0 record with three saves in just six outings this year.

He's built for the job.

"I love it," he said. "There's nothing better than to come out of the bullpen and have that adrenaline rushing.

"Whether it's a five-run lead or a one-run lead, it's always fun coming out of the bullpen and getting that adrenaline rush. It's a good time."

Triulzi came into a pressure situation with two outs in the top of the sixth inning in the opener. The Eagles owned a 7-4 lead, but Marshalltown had runners at the corners and the heart of the batting order coming up.

Triulzi promptly got the final out in the sixth inning with a strikeout, then wriggled out of trouble in the seventh when Marshalltown (9-8) put two runners on base with only one out.

That brought the tying run to the plate again, but Triulzi got the final two outs with another strikeout and a fly ball to left field.

Dairo Gonzalez went 2-for-4 with three RBIs in the opener for Kirkwood. Eric Schenck-Joblinske went 2-for-2 and scored three runs in the leadoff spot.

Brian Daphney struggled with his control early and walked five batters in the first two innings, but settled down and pitched five innings for the victory in Game 1.

The Eagles needed an effective outing from Daphney, because they were playing their third doubleheader in three days and the bullpen was getting a little thin.

"Daphney could have shut it down in the first," said Kirkwood Coach Todd Rima. "Him going five (innings) probably saved us today.

"If he doesn't go five in the first game, we might be looking at a couple of losses or a split. Him gutting it out a little bit really helped us. It was big for us."

Marshalltown grabbed a 5-0 lead in the fourth inning of the nightcap, but Kirkwood rallied with five runs in the bottom of the fourth and four more runs in the fifth inning to take control.

Ozzie Adams and Schenck-Joblinske had key two-run singles in the fourth inning as the Eagles got back in the game. Milton Croes gave the Eagles a 6-5 lead in the fifth inning with an RBI double, then Nick Jones delivered a clutch two-run single for an 8-5 advantage.

Shawn Hagarty followed with an RBI double to make it 9-5 and the Eagles were headed for another triumph.

Alexis Bauzo battled and pitched five innings for the victory in Game 2. Shawn Simmons tossed the final two frames to finish the sweep.

Kirkwood got contributions from numerous players in the doubleheader, including several guys who have not seen a lot of action this year. They took advantage of their opportunities as the streaking Eagles won six games in 72 chilly hours.

Kirkwood finished with a 21-33 record last season, but the Eagles have shown vast improvement in Rima's first year at the helm with their 16-2 mark.

"I want constant improvement, and I thought today we made some improvement," he said. "I like where we're headed.

"I'm excited for the guys. They've worked really hard. They deserve it.

"Their attitude every day has been fantastic. They deserve to win."

Kirkwood is scheduled to play doubleheaders at NIACC this Saturday and Sunday. Rima was NIACC's head coach before moving to Kirkwood this season.

GAME 1

MARSHALLTOWN (4): Salas, ss, 4 1 3 0, Blaskovich, 2b, 2 0 0 1, Folger, 1b, 2 1 0 0, Evans, 3b, 3 0 0 0, Utterback, lf, 3 1 1 0, Simpson, c, 3 0 1 1, Wichmann, rf, 4 0 0 1, Kent, dh, 2 1 0 0, Allen, cf, 2 0 0 0, Fischer, p, 0 0 0 0, Bloom, p, 0 0 0 0, Throckmorten, p, 0 0 0 0. Totals 25 4 5 3.

KIRKWOOD (7): Schenck-Joblinske, cf, 2 3 2 0, Adams, 2b, 3 2 1 1, Gonzalez, 3b, 4 0 2 3, Brodzinski, c, 4 0 1 1, Merced, dh, 3 0 1 1, Hernandez, 1b, 2 0 0 0, Croes, lf, 3 1 1 0, Colon, ss, 3 0 0 0, Kemp, rf, 3 1 1 0, Daphney, p, 0 0 0 0, Ashbacher, p, 0 0 0 0, Triulzi, p, 0 0 0 0. Totals 27 7 9 6.

Marshalltown 111 010 0 - 4 5 2
Kirkwood 240 100 x - 7 9 1

Fischer, Bloom (3), Throckmorten (6) and Simpson. Daphney, Ashbacher (6), Triulzi (6) and Brodzinski. W - Daphney. L - Fischer. S - Triulzi. 2B - Gonzalez, Croes. SB - Utterback (2), Folger, Schenck-Joblinske (2).

GAME 2

MARSHALLTOWN (6): Salas, ss, 4 1 1 0, Blaskovich, 2b, 3 0 1 1, Russell, c, 4 1 1 0, Folger, 1b, 4 1 0 0, Evans, 3b, 2 1 0 0, Simpson, dh, 4 0 2 0, Utterback, lf, 3 1 2 2, Mann, rf, 3 1 0 0, Allen, cf, 3 0 1 1, Moon, p, 0 0 0 0, Smith, p, 0 0 0 0, England, p, 0 0 0 0. Totals 30 6 8 4.

KIRKWOOD (10): Schenck-Joblinske, lf, 4 0 1 2, Rodriguez, ss, 4 2 2 0, Gonzalez, 3b, 2 1 0 0, Brodzinski, 1b, 4 1 1 0, Merced, c, 3 1 0 0, Adams, 2b, 4 2 2 2, Croes, rf, 2 2 1 1, Thompson, rf, 0 0 0 0, Jones, dh, 2 1 1 3, Hagarty, cf, 3 0 1 1, Bauzo, p, 0 0 0 0, Simmons, p, 0 0 0 0. Totals 28 10 9 9.

Marshalltown 022 100 1 - 6 8 2
Kirkwood 000 541 x - 10 9 3

Moon, Smith (4), England (5) and Russell. Bauzo, Simmons (6) and Merced. W - Bauzo. L - Smith. 2B - Utterback, Rodriguez, Croes, Hagarty. 3B - Salas.