Anything to help: Cougars athlete utilized versatility

For The Tribune

When it came to playing baseball at Trinity Lutheran, Ross Kruse played wherever he was needed to help the Cougars succeed.

However, he did have a favorite position.

“I liked the outfield, and I liked playing center,” Kruse said.

He also did some relief pitching, caught a few games and played a couple of games at shortstop this spring.

Kruse said he enjoyed playing defense, and that communication was key.

“Communication is very important, and it helps your teammates with their confidence that they are going to catch the ball,” Kruse said. “Knowing where they are at and where they should be helps with the flow of the game so that everybody knows their job.”

Behind the plate, Kruse worked with the pitchers.

“I enjoyed catching and calling pitches, and being in the game in every pitch,” Kruse said. “I called most of the pitches, but sometimes it came from one of the coaches.”

He hit fifth in the Cougars’ batting order throughout the season.

“I’m always expecting to hit the ball on the first pitch,” Kruse said. “My first thought is to get a base hit knowing what to do if there is a runner on base and how I can advance a runner.

“I always look for a first-pitch fastball, something I can hit hard. I like pitches waist high and inside. I hit one home run at Salem. I hit a lot of doubles in the gaps. I like pulling the ball.”

The recent grad started playing baseball with T-ball in Seymour’s leagues. He also played on multiple travel teams throughout his career.

Kruse said he thinks playing travel helped him have success at Trinity.

“Playing stronger competition helped me understand the game and what to do on every pitch: Understanding where to go with the ball and what to do in situations when runners are on base, how to advance runners while hitting,” he said.

“Practice was pretty important. The mental part is important. If you make an error you’ve just got to let it go and make the next play. Shake it off and stay positive.”

Kruse said he appreciated support from the fans.

“We had a lot of support from people at the school,” he said. “It was always nice to see people come out and support us.”

Kruse’s highlights in baseball were winning the Seymour Invitational (2016) and back-to-back sectionals his junior and senior seasons.

He said he is pleased he chose to attend Trinity Lutheran.

“I liked the small atmosphere, and getting to know everybody on the team and develop a relationship with everyone,” Kruse said. “I liked my classes.”

Kruse file

Name: Ross Kruse

School: Trinity Lutheran High School

Parents: Ervin and Dee Kruse

Siblings: Reid, Reuben, Rose

Sports: baseball 4 years, basketball 2 years

Athletic honors: 2016, ’17 sectional champions

Plans after high school: attend Ivy Tech

Favorite athlete: Bryce Harper

Author photo
Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.