Gross belts home run as Cougars defeat Spartans 6-4


After striking out in his first two at bats against Southwestern (Shelby) Monday, Kowan Gross figured he better do something to pick up his Trinity Lutheran teammates.

Gross did his job about as well as you can do it, hitting a high fly ball over the fence in left field to lift the Cougars to a 6-4 win on ‘bring a kid’ to the game night

“I was a little upset at my first two at bats and I just walked up there to drive in a run or at least get a base hit to help the team out,” he said following his first home run of the season.

“We were down (3-2) at that point and the home run put us up by one,” Gross said. “It was a big hit, it needed to happen. I’m pretty happy about it. It was actually at my eyes.”

The Cougars took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Levi Pottschmidt led off with a single. Jackson Trueblood followed with a single before Pottschmidt went to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.

James Oliver reached first base on an error in the top of the fourth and scored when Chris Cecil was hit by pitch with the bases loaded to tie the game at 1-1.

Peyton Pollert bunted for a single leading off the bottom of the fourth. He went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Chase Bode’s second hit of the game.

The Spartans used doubles by Caleb McCracken, Josh Karr and Isaac Bunch to score two runs in the top of the sixth.

Drake Goodpaster had an infield single in the bottom of the sixth and Gross followed with the home run.

Pollert walked, and with two out, Johan Harker was hit by a pitch, and Pottschmidt and Trueblood followed with single that drove in runs.

“It was a nice win,” Trinity Head Coach Ben Kleber said. “We were a little passive on the offensive side to start the game, taking a lot of pitches, but we still hit some balls hard that they made plays.

“But our focus wasn’t there,” he added. “It was nice to see our focus late in the game, and regain our focus after they had taken the lead. We talk about it a lot that the best team finds a way to win in the sixth and seventh and I thought we did that tonight.”

“We had Drake beat that one out, then Kowan was struggling today. He struck out twice. I could tell the confidence wasn’t there and we had a nice, little talk. The last half of the year he’s hit the ball well. He’s done well with two strikes. So I’d like to see him be a little more aggressive early in the count.

“Then to tack two more on was huge to give us a little cushion because they came out and they swung the bats in the seventh.” The Spartans had a single and a double in the top of the seventh.

Pollert pitched the first 5.2 innings and allowed two earned runs while striking out five and walking three. Bode finished and had one strikeout.

“Peyton has had some arm issues this year so we had to take it easy on him in the middle parts, but he has come back and is throwing the ball well. I’d like to see him get the ball down a little bit more,” Kleber said.

Trueblood, Bode and Pottschmidt had two hits each.

Gross spoke about what the Cougars have to do to have a winning season.

“We need everyone putting hits together,” he said. “Our defense has been solid lately, our pitching has been awesome. So scoring a few runs is the biggest thing we need to do.”

Kleber said, “The win was good to see. We’ve won eight of our last 10. We’re starting to play some good baseball.”

The Cougars (9-11) were scheduled to play Christian Academy Tuesday and will be home to Clarksville Thursday.

Southwestern (Shelby) (2-16) at Trinity Lutheran (9-11)

Southwestern; 4

Trinity Lutheran; 6

Hits: Trinity Lutheran  Trueblood, Bode, Pottschmidt (2); Gross, Pollert. HR: Trinity Lutheran  Gross. RBI: Trinity Lutheran  Gross, (2); Bode, Pottschmidt, Trueblood.

WP: Bode, Trinity Lutheran.

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