Cougars struggle to get bats going in sectional loss



Andrew Osterling led off the top of the first inning with a home run over the fence in right field.

That would be the only run the Oldenburg Academy Twisters would need during Wednesday’s game against Trinity Lutheran in the Jac-Cen-Del Sectional.

The Twisters also scored in three other innings, and pounded out 10 hits to eliminate the Cougars 9-0.

Trinity could not generate any offense at all as Tyler Goecker came up with the Cougars’ only hit, an infield single leading off the bottom of the first inning. Two Oldenburg pitchers combined to strike out 15, including at least one in every inning, and walked two.

Cougars Coach Ben Kleber said, “We talked all year about you can’t make errors and you can’t strike out and unfortunately we did both of those things today.

“Their pitchers threw strikes and they hit the ball. Give all the credit to Oldenburg. That’s a good ball club and we knew we were going to have to play well to beat them and they did the things they needed to do and we didn’t.”

The Twisters came up with four hits in the first inning to take a 3-0 lead, then used two walks and a hit to load the bases in the second inning, then scored a run on a fielder’s choice for a 4-0 lead.

After the Cougars retired the Twisters without any further damage on the scoreboard in the third inning, the Trinity defense fell apart in the fourth inning by committing three errors that gave Oldenburg three unearned runs and a 7-0 lead.

Another Trinity error led to two more unearned runs in the sixth inning.

Pat Thompson had a double, two singles, two RBI and scored a run to lead the Twisters’ offense.

Kleber said, “I’m proud of the way Jack (Marksberry) threw. He did a really good job working through the errors. Lawson (Woods) came in and gave us a shot but when you can’t put the bat on the ball you’re not going to win many games.

“We went silent (after Goecker’s hit). They did a good job of pounding the zone. We did not counter that. That’s part of the game of baseball. You’ve got to be able to put the ball in play and we didn’t do that today.”

Seniors on the Trinity team are Goecker, Woods, Marksberry and Jake Mau.

Kleber said, “Unfortunately that’s not how I wanted it to end for these four seniors. They’ve meant a lot to our program. They’re irreplaceable. I’m proud of the season they had, and I’m going to miss all four of them.”

The Cougars finished 12-12.

The sectional will continue Monday with Jac-Cen-Del facing Rising Sun at 10 a.m., Hauser will play Oldenburg at 12:30 and the championship game will start at 7 p.m.

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