In a game where base hits and runs were scarce, Trinity Lutheran’s baseball team needed a clutch at-bat at Alf Snyder Field.
Sophomore Trent Shoemaker answered the Cougars’ call.
Tied at 1-1, with runners on first and third on two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Shoemaker smacked an RBI single past the shortstop for a walk-off 2-1 win against Oldenburg Academy.
Shoemaker finished with two of the Cougars’ five total hits.
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Despite a pair of strikeouts by pitcher Jake VonDielingen, the Twisters got on the board in the first inning when Zach Wegman hit an RBI single to score Adam Huber.
The Cougars (7-6) responded in the bottom half of the inning.
VonDielingen got on base by a hit by pitch as the lead off batter and stole second base before teammate Jake Moore sacrificed to knot the score at 1-1.
Both teams went down in order in the second, with VonDielingen striking out two again.
The Cougars took the Twister down in order again, and recorded their first hit in the bottom of the third inning with a single from Sam Crick. However, Crick was tagged out on a steal attempt so the game remained tied.
VonDielingen stayed hot on the mound, retiring two batters again in the top of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for Trinity, the bats remained cold as they again went down in order.
A single from Jordan Stenger put the Twisters on base, but VonDielingen halted any offense with another strikeout to close the top of the fifth inning.
The Cougars got runners on second and third bases after a double from Trent Shoemaker, but again failed to capitalize at the end of five.
With one out, the Twisters loaded the bases with singles form Adam Huber, Chase Hogg and Wegman in the top of the sixth inning.
VonDielingen didn’t flinch, getting the Cougars out of trouble with back-to-back strikeouts.
“(Jake) doesn’t get many opportunities to pitch because normally we need him behind the plate,” Trinity coach Matt VonDielingen said. “When he does go out there, we have a lot of confidence he will perform. With bases loaded, all I was worried about was if he was tired or not. I knew he could throw strikes, it was just not giving up the free pass.”
A double play from the Twisters’ shortstop to first base kept the scored tied after six innings.
Keeping the Twisters off the bases, VonDielingen struck two out going into the bottom of the seventh inning.
Following a Ross Kruse single, a walk put Chandler Reynolds on base.
A fielder’s choice on an out to second base put Cougars runners on first and third before Shoemaker hit the game winner.
“Our offense was anemic to say the least,” coach VonDielingen. They threw strikes, but we should have hit the ball very, very hard. I think that may have been the problem — we were trying to hit homers. Late in the game we realized that we needed to do what we do in batting practice: Walk up and hit line drives. It took us a little while to figure that out.”
On the mound, VonDielingen threw 12 strikeouts while giving up four hits and a walk.
Today, the Cougars will host Charlestown for a makeup game.