Trinity Lutheran’s baseball team came up with 13 hits and scored in every inning to defeat Crothersville 12-2 in six innings Friday afternoon.
Both coaches said they saw improvement in their teams.
Trinity’s Ben Kleber said, “It was our best game. Sage (Broughton’s) arm was hurting him there in the first so Kowan (Gross) came in. Kowan struggled in his first two outings so it was nice to see him pounding the zone and throwing strikes.
“That’s what we need out of him, that’s what we need out of all or our guys, throw strikes and control the zone, and get ahead and see what happens, let your defense work.”
Gross pitched five innings and allowed three hits, one unearned run and he struck out 10, and didn’t walk any.
With two out and nobody on base in the top of the first, Lucas Hilton hit an infield single and advanced on a hit by Ian Tatlock. Hilton advanced on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch. Matt Clouse and Corey Reynolds drew walks to load the bases, but the Tigers couldn’t add to their run total.
In the bottom of the first Nathan Voelker walked and Sage Broughton singled. Voelker stole third and scored on a wild pitch, Broughton scored on a single by Peyton Pollert, and Evan Hunt was safe on a fielder’s choice and scored on a wild pitch for a 3-1 lead.
In the second inning, Andrew Bell walked and scored on a hit by Broughton, and Hunt singled in the third and scored on a sacrifice fly by Pollert.
The Cougars put together their best inning of the season in the fourth when Bell, Voelker, Broughton, Gross and Hunt had consecutive singles. Bell scored on an error, Voelker scored on a wild pitch, and Hunt drove in two runs with his single.
Nolan Brandenburg walked leading off the top of the fifth, and advanced and scored on errors to complete the Tigers’ scoring.
The Cougars added three runs in the sixth to win by the 10-run rule. Kade Gillaspy and Hunt had RBIs singles in the inning and Levi Froedge doubled for Trinity’s only extra base hit.
Nine Cougars combined for 13 hits with Broughton and Hunt both getting three, and Voelker had a hit, two walks and scored three runs.
Kleber said, “That was nice to see. We’re still working on our approach, changing some things. Guys are struggling with it, but they’re believing in the process, and they keep working at it. Today it showed.
“We had some guys come off the bench and get big hits, so that was nice to see.”
Broughton joined the team late and this was his first game. He said, “I was seeing the ball pretty well. We came in here with a good attitude today. I’d say that’s what we did best. We need to bring that every game.
“It was a big win, first of many.”
Hilton and Clouse combined to strike out nine Cougars, and Coach Hilton said that was good to see.
“The pitching has gotten a lot better for us from the last two outings. Lucas only walked two and hit one so he kept us in the game. They got a critical hit with the bases loaded and that kind of got us in a dare situation.
“Lucas pitched 79 pitches and had five strike outs so he improved. We put Matt in and Matt did an excellent job for two and a half innings so our pitching has improved. We still had some opportunities for fundamentals knowing where to throw the ball, and where to actually go with the ball to what bases and how to hold the runner. They did get a lot of steals off us so that is something we’ll work on.”
The Tigers had five hits and drew three walks. Tatlock had two hits, Hilton was on base with a hit and on an error, and Reynolds had a hit and a walk.
“Our offense has improved,” coach Hilton said. “We had two kids that had their first varsity hits tonight, Corey Reynolds and Caden Lewis, so it was exciting to see their bats get going. Ian and Lucas were pretty solid making contact.
“We’re getting people on base now so it’s getting the fundamentals down.”
The Cougars (1-3) will host Hauser at 11 a.m. today for a single game. The Tigers (0-3) will host Rock Creek Academy at 5 p.m. Monday.