Trinity offense stifles in Cougar Invitational

Trinity Lutheran’s baseball team was unable to come up with enough offense against Eastern (Pekin) and Borden in the Cougar Invitational at Alf Snyder Field on Saturday.

The Cougars outhit Eastern 3-2 but could only score a pair of runs in the third inning and lost 3-2.

The Cougars managed five hits against Borden but only had a single run in the first inning and lost 9-1 in a game that was called after five innings because of darkness.

Trinity coach Ben Kleber said, “We hit a lot of fastballs, and then we wanted to swing at curveballs. We’ve got to have a better approach at the plate and a lot more confidence. I think that’s going to come with time with guys getting more varsity at-bats. When we get those, I think we’ll be more comfortable. That’s going to take some time.”

Borden scored two runs in the top of the first before Trinity’s first two batters got on base and cut the Braves’ lead in half.

Andrew Bell opened the bottom of the first with a single and Nathan Voelker hit a long fly ball to left-center that Bell easily scored on, but two strikeouts and an infield out prevented the Cougars from adding on.

Trinity had runners on base in every inning as Luke Coomler and Bell walked in the second and Sage Broughton doubled in the third but was thrown out at third trying to stretch his hit into a triple.

Coomler singled in the fourth and Broughton singled in the fifth.

Bell, Voelker, Broughton and Coomler were all on base twice.

In the opener, Eastern held a 1-0 lead when the Cougars came to bat in the bottom of the third.

Bell walked and Voelker singled. Broughton singled to drive in Bell, and Peyton Pollert walked with the bases loaded to force in Voelker.

Kleber said, “It’s all about getting hits when guys are in scoring position. We got the guys on there, which is nice between walks and we had some good ABs. Their pitcher threw the ball well.”

Gross and Voelker combined to hold the Musketeers to two hits while striking out five and walking three.

Kleber said he felt like the Cougars’ defense improved.

“Our defense has been playing better,” he said. “We ran into a stretch there the first three or four games where we were making six errors a game. We’re back to one or two errors a game, which is going to happen at the high school level.

“We want to cut down as much as we can and help our pitchers out and in turn keep their pitch count down. We’ve just got to keep working and keep getting better every day. We’ll see where we’re at come sectional time.”

Trinity (1-7) will host Henryville today.