For The Tribune
The Trinity Lutheran and Crothersville baseball teams had runners reach base throughout Thursday’s game on the Tigers’ diamond.
The Cougars, however, grouped 12 hits together with five walks and took advantage of four Tigers errors to score five runs in the second and four each in the third and sixth innings for a 13-0 win.
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Crothersville managed only two hits and struck out 13 times in the six-inning, run-rule game.
“It was a nice win, a good victory,” Cougars coach Bob Tabeling said. “Everybody got to play. We knew they were a young program, so the plan all along was to try and get as many players in the game as we could.
“We got to see some live pitching. Batting practice gets a little boring after a while. From that standpoint so we wanted to see some live action so we had an opportunity tonight to get everybody in the game.”
Seven Cougars shared the hits: Jake Moore, Jacob Schult, Ross Kruse, Caleb Reedy, Chandler Reynolds, Matt Fourman and Bobby Tabeling collected two each.
Trinity sent 10 batters to the plate in the second inning, and Reedy started the rally with a double. Reynolds singled to drive in a run, Moore walked with the bases loaded, and the other runs came in on errors.
The Cougars batted around in the third inning and scored four times with Ross Kruse driving in two runs with a single, Jacob Schult hit a sacrifice fly, and Moore had an RBI.
Reynolds had a two-run single in the sixth inning, and Moore drove in another run with a single.
Coach Tabeling said he wants to see more swings early in the count.
“We aren’t aggressive on that first strike,” he said. “We still take a lot of fastball first strikes right down the middle. We want everybody, top to bottom, to be aggressive on that first strike. We saw a little improvement on that tonight. They really need to dial in on that first strike, there’s no sense getting behind on a fastball.”
Reedy, Reynolds and Fourman hit doubles. Moore and Reynolds both had three RBI, Kruse drove in two, and Reynolds scored three times.
Moore allowed two hits and amassed 13 strike outs on the mound.
“(Moore) came out there and threw a lot of strikes,” Tabeling said. “We wanted him to get a lot of work. We have a doubleheader (Saturday at Shoals), and then we’ve got Corydon and Brownstown next week, so we wanted to let him have an opportunity to go out there and throw on the road, and make some adjustments and he threw a nice ball game tonight.”
The Tigers had at least one base runner in every inning, even though they had only had three batters in the first, second and fifth innings. They had runners caught stealing in the first and fifth innings and had runners picked off first in the second and third innings.
Cory Needler had singles in the third and fifth innings for the Tiger hits.
“Our offense is getting stronger,” Tigers coach Jared Richey said. “We’ve gotten rid of those bad innings, but we’re still high on the errors. We need to get strong and not get so down on ourselves when we make a bad move.
“I’d say we’re seeing improvement. Our batting is still lacking a little bit. We’re starting to get more hits, we’re getting people on base. We’re getting there slowly. We’re building it.”
The Cougars are 3-4 headed to Shoals, while the Tigers fall to 0-5 as they travel to Springs Valley on Saturday for a doubleheader.