THROWING HEAT: Trinity Lutheran senior finishes up successful career

If Jake VonDielingen isn’t playing baseball, he’s probably talking about it.

His father, Matt, has been coach of the Cougars the past two years.

Baseball at home, “is all we ever talk about,” Jake said. “It’s all Trinity baseball-based at home.”

Over his four years at Trinity Lutheran, VonDielngen helped the Cougars win a lot of games.

“I love winning,” VonDielingen said. “We won two sectionals here, and we’ve had a winning record every year. Ever since I was little it brought out a different type of happiness.”

Jake said playing for his father the past two years brought me back to little league.

“He coached me all the way through and we share almost the same baseball minds,” VonDielingen said. “We think on the same page for the most part.”

He spent a lot of time on the mound this spring.

“It’s my favorite part of the game,” VonDielingen siad. “Against the (Class) 1A teams, it (was) fastball heavy. When we play the bigger schools I’ll mix in a slider, curve-ball and a split-finger. Most games I tried to locate my fastball and get ground balls. I didn’t have trouble with walks, but here and there I would miss my spot.

“Usually, I was pretty consistent. I liked going down and in a lot right at the right-handed hitters’ hands.”

He said it was important to get ahead in the count.

“I learned that, especially these last couple years with stats,” he said. “This year was a big strikeout year for me, like two an inning, and most of them came when I started out 0-1.”

VonDielingen said his No. 2 pitch was his slider.

He played every position this spring except right field and catcher. VonDielingen said he just wants to be on the field.

“That’s how I was brought up,” he said. “I’d play everywhere all the way through little league, even teen league. I love playing shortstop just because it feels like balls are hit there every single game. Third base is fun, first base is fun.”

He was the Cougars’ leadoff batter throughout the season, the same position he hit as a junior.

“My on base percentage is higher for sure, but I didn’t draw as many walks,” VonDielingen said. “I just think I attacked first pitches more often. I picked up first-pitch fastballs. My batting average was higher than it’s even been. I just completely changed my approach, a lot more ‘hit first’ rather than ‘walk first.’”

VonDielingen said he enjoyed the home games.

“I love pitching here,” he said. “Since my dad got the coaching job he began working on the field. It’s great to see the changes we’ve made, and been able to play on it.

He said playing travel ball definitely improved his pitching.

“My summer coach started me pitching because of my body type,” VonDielingen said. “I started getting taller, and that introduced to into different college connections. It’s a much higher level of play during the summer, too.”

He will play baseball at the University of Indianapolis.

“I just need to develop a little more velocity, but that’s been steadily getting better as I got older and as more games go by,’ VonDielingen said.

VonDielingen played football last fall and said he enjoyed that experience.

“It was nice switching it up,” he said. ” It gave me something to look forward to rather than waiting all fall and all winter until baseball. I learned how to run some routes. I had learned some things from middle school. It was a totally different game because it was a different system and everything. It was a good time for sure.

He said he enjoyed attending TLHS.

“I like the small school and the environment and being able to develop closer relationships with everybody,” VonDielingen said. “Obviously, having my dad coach me was nice. It was a good fit. I got a great education here. Baseball is definitely going to be my biggest memory because it’s all we do.”

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”VonDielingen file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Jake VonDielingen

School: Trinity Lutheran

Parents: Matt and Beth VonDielingen

Siblings: Josh, Jack, Brittney

Sports: baseball 4 years, football 1 year

Athletic highlights: Sectionals 2016, 2017; all-county 2016, 2017

Organizations: student ambassador, Big Brothers Big Sisters

Plans after high school: attend University of Indianapolis, major in marketing, play baseball

Favorite food: pizza

Favorite team: Cincinnati Reds