Cougars get jump, never let up in win

Trinity Lutheran High School’s baseball team used two big innings to defeat the West Washington Senators by run-rule at home Tuesday.

The Cougars won 12-2 in five innings of play after recording four runs in the second inning and seven runs in the fourth inning.

The fourth inning was big for the Cougars.

In the top of the fourth, the Cougars allowed the Senators to score their only two runs and load the bases. Cougars pitcher Nick Mensendieck got the Senators’ Tanner Packwood to fly out to center fielder Ross Kruse.

Kruse made a great grab to retire the side and prevented at least two runs from scoring.

In the bottom of the fourth, the Cougars’ offense attacked, using 10 batter to score seven runs and ultimately end the game.

The inning began with Jacob VonDielingen reaching on an error and stealing second. Jake Moore then reached on a walk. VonDielingen then scored on a single from Kendall White.

Chandler Reynolds then drew a walk and Ross Kruse smacked a single that scored Moore and White.

Reynolds scored on a throwing error and Ross scored on a balk to bring the score 10-2.

VonDielingen — who led off the inning — then smacked a double to center field, scoring Jacob Crockett and Trent Shoemaker. The Cougars led 12-2.

In the top of the fifth, Reynolds walked a batter and got one to flyout. The Cougars then ended the game on a double play when White caught a fly ball and stepped on second to end the game.

For pitching, the Cougars started left-handed pitcher Jake Moore, who tossed 3.1 innings, struck out eight, gave up one hit and two earned runs. Moore also walked three batters.

VonDielingen said Moore started the game strong and established rhythm. He said Moore began to struggle with command of his pitches in the third inning.

“He had a command issue, a mechanical issue that he and I discussed, and he just didn’t correct it,” he said. “Until then, he was cruising. He walked a couple, and I just thought that in this type of game I would take him out and give somebody else a chance.”

Mensendiek relieved Moore in the third inning and threw two-thirds of an inning, facing four batters, giving up a hit, striking out and walking one and giving up no runs.

Reynolds closed out the game for one inning pitched, no hits or runs.

Cougars’ coach Matt VonDielingen said he thinks the game and number of runs his team scored will improve their confidence moving forward.

“Hitting is all about confidence and any time you can get a good start and put a crooked number up, it will always help you get some confidence and get the ball rolling in the right direction,” he said.

VonDielingen said he was encouraged to see his team connect on so many pitches consistently throughout the game.

“They’re all capable of hitting the ball very hard _ they don’t always believe it _ but from what I’ve seen in batting practice, I expect big offensive outputs all the time,” he said.

The coach was also encouraged by the bottom of the lineup that produced a number of hits that led to a four-run cushion for the Cougars.

“Anytime you can get your bottom to produce and get something going, that’s an absolute, outstanding plus.”

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Jordan Richart is a correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.