The Trinity Lutheran baseball team fell on the wrong side of a defensive battle in a 2-1 loss to Lanesville in the semifinals of the Class A Loogootee Regional on Saturday.
Cougars coach Bob Tabeling said that his team couldn’t get a hit when it needed it most.
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“Our defense was good, and our pitching was good, and it turned out to be a 2-1 baseball game,” he said. “We had to get that timely hit. They got some runs early and we battled back. You need a timely hit in a game like that and we weren’t able to get one.
“When you can’t string hits together it makes it a very tough ballgame.”
After hitting the Eagles’ leadoff batter with the first pitch of the game, Cougars senior pitcher Jacob Schult retired six straight hitters behind five strikeouts.
There was a 30 minutes rain delay, with two outs in the top of the first.
A single by Trinity’s Chandler Reynolds marked the first hit of the game in the bottom of the second — but the Cougars wouldn’t capitalize.
Lanesville got on the boards in the third inning when Ryan McCubbins hit an RBI single to center field to score Jon Will from second base.
The Cougars went down in order to close the third inning.
Following a leadoff single by Cameron Harvey, Noah Jones reached first base for the Eagles on an error by the Cougars in the fourth inning.
Tom Tidstrom then laid down a sacrifice bunt to push Harvey across the plate.
Schult finished the Eagles’ offense in the fourth with back-to-back strikeouts.
Trinity’s offensive woes continued in the bottom of the inning, as the Cougars again went down in order.
Nick Mensendiek was walked, stole second base and reached third on a passed ball to put the Cougars in scoring position in the fifth.
Cougars senior Bobby Tableing then sacrificed to score Mensendiek, to pull the game within a run.
“(Mensendiek) put us in a nice scoring position,” Bob Tabeling said. “Bobby did a nice job putting the ball in play to get us that run. We didn’t manufacture a lot of runs and hits, but we were still able to get to third base and score.”
Jake Moore replaced Schult on the mound after five innings.
Controversy struck in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Jacob Crockett, who was pinch running for Sam Crick at second base, reached third on an error by the Eagles with two outs.
On the following play, the Cougars had Crockett attacking home plate with Chandler Reynolds also going for second.
Crockett attempted to dodge the Eagles’ catcher, but made contact shoulder-to-shoulder, to touch home plate but was called out despite the glove and ball being on the other side of the catcher’s body.
Both teams didn’t get a hit the rest of the way.
Schult threw eight strikeouts while giving up five hits for the pitching loss.
Brenden Bube picked up the win on the mound for the Eagles.
Lanesville outhit the Cougars 4-3 in the contest.
Trinity finished 19-9 for their 2016 campaign.
“We told the players at the end of the game that there were a lot of good things that happened (this season),” Bob Tabeling said. “We’re very proud of them. There’s a strong nucleus of players returning.”
Bobby Tabeling and Schult will graduate from the Cougars’ program.
“They’ve done a ton for our program,” Bob Tabeling said. “They’ve been energetic and played hard. They’re fun to be around, and are two good kids that have a bright future ahead of them.