Going into Saturday’s game against Trinity Lutheran, Crothersville baseball coach Eric Hilton was concerned his team might have the first-game jitters.
Those fears became a reality from the start as the Cougars sent 12 batters to the plate, scored eight times and rolled to a 19-0 win.
The Cougars received three walks, two batters were hit by pitches, the Tigers committed two passed balls, Peyton Pollert had a two-run single, Nathan Voelker drove in a run with a single and Nathan Finke and Jack Trueblood also had singles in the first inning.
This was Trinity’s sixth game of the season.
Hilton said, “We were very nervous at the start of the game, so we were missing a lot of strike zones. We got ourselves in trouble when we made a couple mental errors at shortstop that kind of made us get behind the eight ball, being very nervous at the mound. So we need to work on a little bit of pitching, and we need to work on catching where a lot of pitches got by our catcher.”
Trinity coach Ben Kleber said, “I thought we did a good job (hitting). We struggled to stay back a little bit. With the arms we’ve been seeing, I kind of expected that. We did a good job when we got on base of taking advantage of things we could, so I was happy with that.
“It’s always nice to get everybody in and give them a chance to play in the field and get an at-bat. Most guys got a couple ABs, so that was nice to see everybody get to contribute.”
Levi Pottschmidt scored three runs, Voelker, Trueblood, Pollert, Luke Coomler, Brody Brown and Finke scored two runs each and Sage Broughton, Blaine Wehmiller, Andrew Bell and Levi Froedge scored one run each.
Pollert had two hits and three RBI, Trueblood and Finke had two hits each and Voelker and Cole Brewer each had a hit. Brewer and Trueblood each had two RBI, and Voelker, Pottschmidt, Kowan Gross and Finke each drove in one run.
The Cougars also received 15 walks, and four batters were hit by pitch.
The Tigers managed only one hit, a single by Lucas Hilton in the first inning. Josh Reynolds received a walk in the fifth inning, and three Tigers were hit by pitches.
“We need to make sure we’re swinging at pitches in the strike zone,” coach Hilton said. “We had five or six pitches that we watched instead of just swinging our bats, so we need to be more aggressive at the plate. We didn’t make contact three or four times where we could have gotten a base hit. It’s not where we need to be at yet.”
Chase Bode pitched the first four innings and had eight strikeouts and no walks.
Kleber said, “Chase Bode did a good job. That is exactly what we wanted him to do, go out and fill it up, and he did. (Broughton) threw a lot of strikes (two strikeouts). He struggled with his curveball but was able to work on that with the situations we had. He’s going to have to throw a lot of innings for us this year. We’re looking to the way he threw and be able to go out there and throw strikes.”
Trinity will host West Washington on Tuesday, and Crothersville will be home to West Washington Thursday.
Kleber said, “Our pitchers just need to keep throwing strikes, and we need to keep having good at-bats and keep playing solid defense. We were a little shaky on defense today. We threw the ball around a little bit where we could have had some outs.”