One at-bat can change the momentum on the diamond.
Tied at 3-3 in the fifth inning, Trinity Lutheran senior Jacob Schult drilled a two-run homer to center to get the Cougars’ offense rolling against Edinburgh.
That hit propelled the Cougars to a 9-3 victory against the Lancers on Friday at Alf Snyder field.
In the first inning, Lancers pitcher Zach Murphy led off with a double and Kinser Bryant followed with a single.
Murphy scored on a passed ball to put the Lancers up 1-0.
The Cougars responded in the bottom of the first, as Sam Crick hit a sacrifice RBI to score Schult and tie the game.
Trinity’s Nick Mensendiek scored on an error at the Lancers’ first base to give the Cougars a 2-1 advantage after two innings.
The Lancers added a another run in the third in part of a short throw to the Cougars’ first base.
Zach Smiley hit an RBI single to bring in Keegan Sida in the fourth to put the Lancers on top 3-2.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Trinity’s Ross Kruse hit an RBI double to center before Schult went yard.
“Throughout the year, our second time through the lineup has been good at scoring in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings,” Cougars coach Bob Tabeling said. “We get a little anxious the first time through but then we settle down. (Schult) hits the ball really well for us, and we got some really nice hits before getting the lead.
The older players at the top of the lineup are doing really well for us, and that’s what you expect them to do.”
In the bottom of the sixth, the Cougars’ bats caught fire as Mensendiek hit an RBI double and Aden Jones added an RBI single.
Trinity built a 9-3 run, scoring an additional two runs on a passed ball and error at the Lancers’ third base, to conclude the sixth.
Kruse earned the win on the mound for the Cougars and Murphy was charged the loss.
The Cougars also pitched Mensendiek and Crick two innings each.
“It’s something we’ve been doing all year,” Tabeling said of the rotation. “We don’t have all the strength in our arms to go all seven innings. We’ve been using multiple pitcher often: outside of Schult’s no-hitter the other night. The cold comes into play with that too, we don’t want to wear arms out. We’re throwing 30 to 40 pitches and sharing the burden.”
Edinburgh (1-2) had eight hits to Trinity’s nine.
“That’s an awesome team,” Lancers first-year coach Michael Bryant said. “They’re well coached and disciplined. We are too, the wheels just kind of fell off — but that’s a young team. This game is on me, and I told the boys that.”
The Cougars are undefeated at 5-0 on the season.
“We’re excited about this start,” Tabeling said. “We knew there was a good nucleus on the team returning. We had a tough schedule coming out, but we’ve played very good baseball to this point now. It is the start, though, and we will need to improve as the season goes on.”