Since Nathan Voelker topped the Trinity Lutheran baseball team in pitching and hitting this spring, head coach Ben Kleber said there wasn’t much doubt about who the most valuable player was.
“He had a real good year,” Kleber said in presenting Voelker with the MVP plaque.
Highlighting Voelker’s season was pitching a perfect game against Brown County.
For the season, Voelker pitched 51.3 innings with 55 strikeouts, 33 walks and a 4.03 earned run average with a record of 5-2.
“He was the only player to hit over .300,” Kleber said as Voelker had 25 hits in 82 at-bats for an average of .305.
The junior topped the team in hits, runs (20), doubles (seven), RBI (14) and on-base percentage (.418). He tied for second in walks with 14 and was second in stolen bases with nine.
Luke Coomler and Levi Pottschmidt were co-recipients of the most improved award. Coomler is a junior, and Pottschmidt is a sophomore.
Coomler played in the outfield and infield and did some pitching before he became the regular shortstop late in the season.
Kleber said Coomler did a good job at shortstop at the end of the season.
“He started out (batting) 0-for-10 and hit over .300 the remainder of the season,” he said. “His swing got a lot better.”
Coomler’s overall statistics were 15-for-63 for an average of .238. He scored nine runs, had six RBI and 12 walks.
Kleber said, “Pottschmidt started out slow and he worked hard and continued to get better. He got a chance to get into the lineup and he stayed there. He led the team in sacrifices (seven).”
Pottschmidt was batting toward the bottom of the order at the beginning of the season and moved into the No. 2 position at the end of the season.
He finished 16-for-55 for an average of .291 with nine runs, three walks and four stolen bases.
Evan Hunt, the only senior on the team, received the Cougar Award as well as a senior award.
Kleber said Hunt was a freshman during his first season as Trinity head coach.
“I can’t say enough about Evan,” Kleber said. “I had a special time with him. He broke up two no-hitters, one at Rising Sun and one at home against Hauser. He made great improvement. He had two hits in our sectional game, and his second hit extended our sectional game. We’re going to miss him.”
Voelker, Pottschmidt and junior Sage Broughton made The Tribune’s all-county team.
Kleber said the Cougars had a rough beginning as their record stood at 2-16 after 18 games.
“We ended up 9-19. I appreciate their hard work. We learned a lot, and we grew a lot,” Kleber said. “Twelve of our 28 games were against 2A, 3A and 4A teams. We had some fun wins at the end of the year. Nathan threw the perfect game against Brown County, and we beat Shawe Memorial in our final regular-season game.”
Kleber said he expects to see the program grow next spring.
“I’m hoping we have 16 to 18 players and that we have a lot of competition for playing time,” he said. “I’m hoping we have a JV team next spring. I think there will be some very special things next year. We’ve had a lot of players respond to summer weights.”
Kleber also thanked his coaching staff for its hard work, and assistant coach Jason Roeder said, “It was a long learning process for you guys.”