On their second day of back-to-back games, Trinity Lutheran’s baseball team again found itself behind late in the game.
Trailing all the way until the sixth inning, the Cougars needed to once again come up in the clutch.
They did, with a familiar face at the plate.
Like he did Tuesday against Oldenburg Academy, Trent Shoemaker came up with the game-winning hit for the Cougars: a two-run single in the sixth.
Trinity (8-6) then held on in the top of the seventh inning to secure a 5-4 victory against Charlestown on Wednesday.
The teams mirrored one another in the first inning, as each had one single and a stolen base.
In the second inning, with runners on second and third base, the Pirates pushed a run across on an error between short of third base off contact from Rhett Kaelin. A walk by Trinity pitcher Jacob Moore loaded the bases before Bradley Love hit a two-run single to right field to build the Pirates’ lead to 3-0.
Trinity took the Pirates down in order at the top of the third inning. Jacob VonDielingen walked, stole second and third base and made it home on a Ball 4 wild pitch to cut the deficit to 3-1 at the end of three.
With a pair of Moore strikeouts, the Cougars again took the Pirates down in order in the top of the fourth inning. The Cougars also went down in order, still trailing by two runs.
Moore dealt two strikeouts and a walk as they held the Pirates scoreless in the top of the fifth. Andrew Snider kept the Cougars’ offense at bay, taking down the batters in order to close the inning.
Chandler Reynolds replaced Moore on the mound in the sixth inning.
“We needed to fight and scratch,” Cougars coach Matt VonDielingen said. “Down 3-0, Jake Moore didn’t want to come out of the game. However, he was at the point that if I wanted him to pitch on Saturday I had to take him out with the pitch-count rules. It ended up working out OK.”
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, the Cougars loaded the bases with a single from Moore and a pair of walks.
The Pirates subbed Snider for Garrett Burke, who walked Chandler Reynolds which resulted in a run from Moore. Another walk tied the game with a run from Kendall White at 3-3.
Still with loaded bases, Charlestown subbed Burke for Nolan Abell with two outs on the board.
Shoemaker then hit the two-run single to left field to give the Cougars a 5-3 lead. The Pirates substituted again, with Jacob Doherty coming in for Abell to close.
“(Shoemaker) is coming on at the right time,” coach VonDielingen said. “He’s starting to get a really good feel for it.”
Hits from Rhett Kaelin and Drew Fifer, and an error at shortstop, loaded the bases for the Pirates with one out in the top of the seventh.
A fielder’s choice at second base cut the Pirates deficit to 5-4, but a pop-out at towards third base ended the game.