Nathan Broek | Sports Editor
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HULL-Coach Mike De Jager of the Trinity Christian baseball team has emphasized “making the next play” and “overcoming adversity” the past couple seasons.
The Tigers certainly had to do both in order to come away with a 6-5 walk-off victory in a non-conference baseball game with Gehlen Catholic Monday, June 4.
In the first inning of this contest, Trinity Christian had Andrew De Boer scheduled to start this game. De Boer came out and faced the first three batters but, due to an arm injury, was promptly pulled in favor of Traiton Cleveringa.
“I hope it’s not anything serious. I’m not exactly sure, but I think it’s just tightness in the shoulder and it actually happened last Friday (June 1 at Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn) when he had to dive back to first base on a pick-off attempt. He felt his shoulder pop a little bit,” said coach De Jager.
Trinity Christian then had to adjust its lineup and put Ethan Van Bemmel at third base. Van Bemmel had just gotten off the concussion protocol. However, the Tigers did not seem to miss a beat as they scored four runs in the bottom of the second. All of those runs were scored with two outs.
After a scoreless third inning and a scoreless fourth stanza, the Jays got into the scoring column with two in the top of the fifth. Trinity Christian responded with one in the bottom half, but Gehlen promptly tied the score with three in the top of the seventh. Two of those runs came off a fielding error by Van Bemmel at third base.
But the Tigers had another quick response. Dawson Vis led off the frame with a single. After the next two batters went out, Van Bemmel stepped to the plate. He sent a hard ground ball into center field. The Gehlen Catholic center fielder misplayed the ball to allow Vis to score all the way from first base for the game-winning run.
“It’s fun. It’s a lot of fun. The guy that had the error came away with a big base hit,” De Jager said. “In the seventh inning their center fielder bobbled it a little bit. Dawson never broke stride. So once he (the Jays’ center fielder) bobbled it a little bit, and after watching pregame, I knew he didn’t have the strongest arm. So we were just going to take it.”
De Jager added he was glad to see his team respond in the bottom of the seventh the way it did.
“I felt like we were losing the momentum a little bit, so I wanted to try to make a play and end it right there. I did not want to go to extras,” De Jager said.
Trinity Christian should now feel more confident after a victory like this, but De Jager noted there is still a lot of baseball left to be played.
“This is a big win no matter where you are in the standings. This is going to give you confidence. But the kids have to realize that these other teams are going to give them their best shot now and they have to be able to respond to that,” De Jager said.
The final offensive numbers had Traiton Cleveringa with a walk and an RBI. Caden Vis had a hit, two runs and one RBI. Byron Maassen had a hit and a stolen base. Logan Cleveringa had a hit, one run, an RBI and two walks. Tyler Van Maanen had one hit. Thomas Brummel had one hit, one run and one RBI. Ethan Heynen had one hit. Dawson Vis had a run, an RBI and one walk. Ethan Van Bemmel had a hit and one RBI.
Traiton Cleveringa’s final line on the hill was six and one-third innings of work with seven hits, five runs of which only one was earned, no walks and four strikeouts. Thomas Brummel recorded the final two outs in the top of the seventh in relief with no hits, no runs, one walk and no strikeouts.
Trinity earns two victories at Lake Park
Carson Schubert | Writer
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Trinity Christian 0-1-3-0-0-2-X 6
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LAKE PARK-Due to a postponement earlier this season, the Trinity Christian baseball team played a doubleheader against Harris-Lake Park Wednesday, June 6, in Lake Park. The Tigers won both games against the Wolves 6-4 and 4-2, respectively.
In game one, Trinity Christian scored three of their six runs in the third inning after Harris-Lake Park tallied single runs in the first and second innings. In the three-run frame, Traiton Cleveringa hit a sacrifice fly that scored Ethan Van Bemmel. Later in the inning, Dawson Vis had a two-out, two-run triple that scored Logan Cleveringa and Byron Maassen. The Wolves countered with two runs in the top of the fifth to tie the score, but the Tigers got both of those runs back in the bottom of the sixth to account for the final score.
“The first game was just a matter of survival, coming up with the big pitches and big plays,” said Trinity Christian coach Mike De Jager. “Give H-LP credit they came out swinging and they were hitting the ball well. Our guys just came through with some big two-out hits.”
Jerron Van Egdom started the game on the bump for the Tigers. He went five innings, allowed eight hits, four earned runs, four walks and had two strikeouts. Thomas Brummel came in for relief. He went two innings, allowed two hits and no runs.
“Jerron didn’t have his (best) stuff,” coach De Jager said. “It was another learning experience for him. They hit the ball well against him, but he didn’t get rattled and made some big pitches to get us out of those early innings. Thomas is probably the smallest guy on the team but he comes up big when he has to. He’s been playing an excellent third base for us, which is a tough position. He came in the last two innings and just threw strikes and the defense made the plays behind him.”
Overall on offense, Cleveringa and Ethan Heynen each had a hit and an RBI. Maassen drew a walk, scored a run and stole a base. Van Bemmel had a hit, two runs scored, drew two walks and stole a base. Van Egdom had a triple and a run scored. Vis had the triple and two RBIs.
In the second game, the Tigers had a 4-0 lead going into the seventh inning. Vis was on the bump and was sailing until the seventh inning when he started to walk some batters and gave up two runs. Brummel came in and allowed one hit but retired the other three batters he faced. Overall, Vis went six innings, allowed four hits, two earned runs, four walks and had one strikeout. Brummel pitched one inning, allowed one hit, no runs and no walks.
“Dawson was huge for us on the mound,” said coach De Jager. “This was his first varsity pitching performance of the year. He pitched awesome. Thomas came in with the bases loaded and nobody out and only allowed two of those runs to score. He’s always around the zone, he changes his speeds well, and he keeps batters off-balance.”
Offensively, Heynen led the team with two hits and he drew a walk. Dawson Vis had a double, a run scored, two RBIs and drew a walk. Caden Vis drew two walks, scored twice and had a stolen base. Logan Cleveringa had a hit, a run scored, an RBI and a stolen base. Van Egdom also added a single.
“I’m going to move Dawson up in the lineup, he’s just hitting the ball way too well right now,” said De Jager. “Right now we have him in the five hole and he’s done well there, but I just need to see if I can get him a few extra at-bats by moving him up to the three hole.”
Tigers stay hot against Wolverines
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South O’Brien 0-1-0-0-0-0-0 1
PAULLINA-Dawson Vis hit a grand slam in the top of the sixth inning to help seal a 12-1 victory for Trinity Christian over South O’Brien in a War Eagle Conference matchup Friday, June 8, in Paullina.
The Tigers scored five runs in the sixth inning, headlined by the previously-mentioned grand slam by Vis. That home run scored Torrey Heynen, Ethan Van Bemmel and Caden Vis. Traiton Cleveringa scored later in the inning on an RBI double by Jerron Van Egdom.
Overall on offense, Caden Vis and Torrey Heynen each had a double and a run scored. Logan Cleveringa had a hit, a walk and three runs scored. Dawson Vis had two hits, a double, a home run, five RBIs and two runs scored. Byron Maassen had three hits, including a double, two runs scored and two RBIs. Traiton Cleveringa had two hits, including a double, one run and one RBI. Van Egdom had a double and two RBIs. Ethan Heynen had two hits, including a double, one run and one RBI. Ethan Van Bemmel had two hits, including a double and a run scored.
“Offensively, our bats are going to be the determining factor,” said Trinity Christian coach Mike De Jager. “Because pitching-wise and defensively, we have been pretty strong. Any time the offense shows up like it did tonight it makes for a fun game.”
Traiton Cleveringa was on the hill for the Tigers. He pitched all seven innings, allowed three hits, one earned run, one walk and had five strikeouts.
“Our guys are throwing strikes,” De Jager said. “We aren’t getting a lot of strikeouts and they aren’t overpowering pitchers by any means. They just keep the hitters off-balance, I’m a big believer in the changeup. If we get the batters out on their front foot, that has been the big thing.”
Ace pitcher Andrew De Boer’s status for next week is still unknown after his injury Friday, June 1.