MIXED BAG: Trinity baseball moves on to sectional championship, Tigers fall in semis

Everything seemed to work for the Trinity Lutheran’s baseball team, as they cruised to an 8-2 victory over West Washington in the Sectional 61 Wednesday.

The Cougars put together timely a- bats, had extra base hits, played solid defense and were led by 12 strikeouts by starting pitcher Jake VonDielingen.

“We talked a lot before the game about not being too aggressive with his fastball, because he has a good fastball, and I just told him to be a pitcher today, not a thrower,” said coach Matt VonDielingen. “He was a good pitcher today.”

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Coach VonDielingen said the team was effective in executing the offensive game plan, too.

“Our goal was to come out and be aggressive with the bats early,” he said, adding the team made adjustments based off the regular season game when they faced the Senators. “We had a lot of trouble adjusting in the season because their pitcher throws a lot of off-speed curveballs, so making sure we make those adjustments in the first at bat.”

Cougars’ catcher Brayden Wilson led the offense, going 3-3, with a homerun, double and walk. He scored two runs and had four RBIs.

The Cougars opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when Reid Kruse hit a fly ball to left field and Senator’s left fielder Joe Traggossed was unable to field it, bouncing off his glove. Tyler Goecker was able to score from second to give the Cougars an early 1-0 lead. Goecker had singled and stolen a base to put him in scoring position.

Wilson then hit a single to centerfield, scoring Kruse.

Chandler Reynolds then scored on a wild pitch to give the Cougars a 3-0 lead.

The Senators answered back in the top of the second when Parker Green laid down a bunt and Braden Wilson ran from second to score to cut the Cougars’ lead 3-1. VonDielingen overthrew first on the attempt to throw out Green.

It was the only run they scored in the inning.

The Cougars opened up another round of scoring in the third inning when Wilson doubled in Kruse, who led off the inning with a double of his own, to give the Cougars a 4-1 advantage.

Lawson Woods then singled into centerfield and courtesy runner Sam Flint scored from second and the Cougars moved ahead 5-1. Woods advanced to second on a bad throw to the plate. He advanced to third on a wild pitch, but Jacob Crockett struck out looking to end the inning.

“You want to put a big number up there and get to your opponent early and we were able to,” Matt VonDielingen said.

The Cougars then opened the lead up with power in the fourth inning behind a two-run homer by Wilson.

Tyler Goecker was on second and had singled and stolen a base earlier in the inning.

Trent Shoemaker scored on a throw to home plate to give the Cougars earlier in the inning.

“These boys have been hitting well for the second half of the season,” coach VonDielingen said. “We are starting to get big hits in big spots instead of when no one is on with two outs.”

The Senators were able to add one run when Kadin Ables scored on a wild pitch, but the deficit was too great.

Jake VonDielingen was locked in for the top of the seventh and struck out the final two batters.

The Cougars will face Orleans in the Sectional 61 Championship on Memorial Day.

Tigers fall to Bulldogs

It was a difficult night on all fronts for the Crothersville, as they lost by run rule 11-1 to Orleans.

The Tigers struggled at the plate and on the mound in the game. Coach Jared Richey said the team did not show enough discipline at the plate and pitchers got behind early in counts.

“We were looking at the wrong pitches and weren’t disciplined enough at the plate,” he said, adding he was disappointed the season ended the way it did. “That’s never the way you want it to end, especially for our four seniors, we didn’t want it to end this soon.”

Orleans got things going in the second inning when they were able to string a number of at bats together. Cooper Stalker hit a single and scored Gavin Morgan to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead. Then Duncan Gerkin hit a single in the infield along the right field foul line and Tigers’ third baseman Logan Brewer made a great play, but his throw was late and Devyn Martin scored.

The Bulldogs then loaded the bases and pitcher Trevor Peters walked in Stalker.

A passed ball then scored Gerkin to give the Bulldogs the 4-0 lead.

Evan Buechler then doubled to left center field to score Evan Swayer and Brayton Clipp to give the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead.

In the fourth inning, Griffin Deckard hit a high flyball to right center and Tigers’ right fielder Paul Lonsdorfer could not make the catch and Gerkin scored to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead. Gavin Martin then walked with the bases loaded, scoring Evan Swayer to add another run.

The Tigers scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning when Paul Lonsdorfer grounded out to second and Logan Collins scored.

The struggles on the mound continued into the fifth inning when Peters issued his 10th walk of the game to Stalker to lead off the fifth inning. That’s when Richey pulled Peters from the game.

Logan Brewer came in to relieve Peters, but left a ball over the plate that Gerkin sent to left center field for a home run to give the Bulldogs a 10-1 lead.

Brayton Clipp scored on a wild pitch from Brewer to extend the lead to 11-1.

The Bulldogs were able to hold the Tigers in the bottom of the inning to capture the victory.

Despite the season coming to an early end, Richey said he felt this season was something the program can build upon.

“Overall, I’m happy with the year and I feel we’re taking steps forward and I’m excited for next year,” he said, adding the team’s batting average is going up and other areas have shown improvement. “Our younger guys have seen it and know how we want to be, so they can build it up.”

Richey said he wants the team to focus on improving fundamentals and having the determination to take the team to the next level.

“There’s no one area we’re terrible at and there’s no one area we’re perfect at,” he said. “We need to play an all around game in seven innings.”