Trinity drops two games at the Cougar Invitational

Trinity Lutheran baseball coach Ben Kleber wants his squad to face as many quality teams as he can get on the schedule.

That’s why he invited Eastern (Pekin) and Borden to be guests Saturday for the Cougar Invitational at Alf Snyder Field in Seymour.

Trinity couldn’t, however, generate enough offense against either team and fell 7-3 to the Musketeers and 4-1 to the Braves.

Trinity’s Peyton Pollert lays down a bunt during the Cougar Invitational on Saturday. Trinity dropped both of its games to Eastern (Pekin) and Borden.  Arv Koontz | The Tribune
Trinity’s Peyton Pollert lays down a bunt during the Cougar Invitational on Saturday. Trinity dropped both of its games to Eastern (Pekin) and Borden. Arv Koontz | The Tribune

“We played two good ball clubs,” he said, “That’s what we wanted to do, get some more competition. We had two bad innings all day, and we played 12 good innings. The first game we had an inning where we gave up 6 and made some errors, and this game we had an inning where we made some errors and we gave up 2.

“That’s part of what we’ve been talking about, putting a full game together, and unfortunately 9 games in we haven’t done that yet.”

The first game featured a pitcher’s duel between Trinity’s Lawson Woods and Eastern’s Adam Stewart. Neither hurler allowed a run through four innings.

The Musketeers used a walk, stolen base, throwing error and wild pitch to score once in the top of the fifth.

Woods finished with 5 innings on the mound, allowing 4 hits, striking out 8 and walking 4. His effort drew praise from Kleber.

“Lawson threw really well. His arm was a little heavy today,” Kleber said. “He battled for us, battled through 5 innings and only gave up 1 run against a real good Pekin team. I was happy with the way he threw.”

Eastern sent 10 batters to the plate in the sixth with three of them getting hits and two of them walking. The Cougars also committed 2 errors and threw 2 wild pitches in the inning, which led to 6 runs for the Musketeers.

The Cougars took advantage of some wildness by Stewart in the bottom of the sixth when Jack Marksberry, Woods and Andrew Bell drew walks. Marksberry and Bell scored on wild pitches, and Kowan Gross grounded out with Woods scoring.

The Cougars finishing with 4 hits with Pollert getting 2. Marksberry and Tyler Goecker both drew 2 walks.

After Eastern beat Borden 5-1, the Braves scored twice in the second to lead the rest of the way against Trinity in the third game of the invitational.

Borden didn’t get any hits in the second, but took advantage of 3 Trinity errors and 2 walks to score twice.

Trinity’s errors in the fourth and sixth innings led to 2 more unearned runs.

The Cougars pounded out 4 hits in the fifth but managed only one run. Pollert started the rally with a single, and Evan Hunt also singled. Goecker singled to drive in Pollert, and Nathan Voelker singled to load the bases with one out, but an infield pop-up and a ground out to the first baseman ended the Cougars’ threat.

Goecker had 3 hits and Sage Broughton had 2 hits to lead the offense in this game.

Marksberry went the distance on the mound for the Cougars and allowed 4 hits, 1 earned run. He would finish with 4 strikeouts and 3 walks.

“Jack came out and did his job and gave up 1 earned run,” Kleber said. “He dealt with adversity of us not making plays and still went out there and did his job. That’s what I’m looking for and I know that’s what I’m going to get from these senior pitchers. We’ve just got to find a way to put runs on the board.

“We’re 5-4 and we’ve got a lot of room to grow. We’ve just got to keep working.”

The Cougars finished with 8 errors on the day, which was ultimately their downfall.

“We tried new things in a couple different places, but it just comes down to making plays,” Kleber said. “A lot of it was self-inflicted with throwing errors and stuff that we can’t do as a ball club. We’ve got to swing the bats better and sharpen up the defense. We know the pitching is going to be there.”

Trinity will travel to Henryville today.