Tigers come up short with the bats in 4-2 defeat

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LeMars Gehlen Catholic0-0-4-0-0-0-X4

LEMARS-Four runs allowed in the third inning proved to be the difference as the Trinity Christian baseball team fell 4-2 to LeMars Gehlen Catholic in LeMars for War Eagle Conference baseball Monday, June 5.

Previously the offense had been picking up most of the slack, but in this game, defense was there and offense was not.

“Throughout the first five games of the year we had been hitting the ball well,” said Trinity Christian coach Mike De Jager. “We’ve had a couple games close, but we’ve really come up short on the defensive end. Last night I thought we kind of flipped it around and played well defensively, we just didn’t hit the ball well.”

Andrew De Boer picked up one of the two hits for the Tigers by finishing the night 1-for-3. Thomas Brummel went 1-for-2 with two runs scored, and he drew a walk. Logan Cleveringa had the two RBIs.

“You have to give credit to their pitcher; he kept us off balance all night, had an excellent curveball and good velocity on his fastball. He took it to us for the most part,” said De Jager. “He was a lefty, the first time our kids saw a lefty on the year. (But) No excuses. We have to be able to put the ball in play a little bit better.”

Brummel, a freshman, started on the field for the second time this season and second overall in his young career

“Last night was his second career varsity game,” said De Jager. “He’s normally my courtesy runner for my pitchers because he is short, quick and fast. He’s been playing and practicing well and I felt like he deserved an opportunity to get a nod (start) and he kind of took advantage of it. Nothing too big but did the little things well, ran the bases well and put pressure on their defense. Nice outing for him, I thought he battled well.”

Jerron Van Egdom was on the bump for the Tigers. He went five and one-third innings, allowed four hits, four runs, three earned runs and notched six strikeouts. Sophomore Ethan Heynen came in and finished the game. His final line was two-thirds of an inning, no hits, no runs and one strikeout.

“I thought Jerron Van Egdom pitched phenomenally. Other than the third inning he went, one, two, three. Except the first inning they had the single in there. They had one base runner for the other five innings of the game. It was a well-pitched game. We just came up on the short end of it. Not enough offense.”

Seven errors lead to 13-2 defeat


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HULL-Trinity Christian had a good defensive game the first four innings of play, but one error in the fifth ended up turning into seven by the end of the game and the Tigers fell 13-2 to Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn/Remsen Union in War Eagle Conference baseball Tuesday, June 6.

The first four innings of the contest went scoreless before the Royals tacked on four unearned runs in the top of the fifth off an error by Trinity Christian’s first baseman and shortstop.

Trinity Christian came back in the bottom half with two runs. The first run came across as coach Mike De Jager signaled for a wheel play for Andrew De Boer at the plate. The runners from first and second broke for their next respective base as the pitch was thrown. De Boer hit a chopper to the Royals’ shortstop, but the ball was misplayed and Trinity Christian scored its first run. The final run for the Tigers came off a one-run single by Ethan Heynen.

After one run in the top of the sixth, Marcus-Meriden-Clehorn/Remsen Union rallied for eight runs — off four walks and five Trinity Christian miscues — to take the 13-2 victory in the seventh inning. Coach De Jager said his team needs to start finding its groove on defense sooner rather than later.

“You’re not going to win too many games when you make your pitcher throw that many extra pitches,” De Jager said. “We’ve had it too many times this year. We’ve been right in games and we let that big inning happen.

De Jager noted his team needs to figure it out for itself with the gloves.

“It’s frustrating because you want them to succeed so bad. You want to go out there and do it for them, but they’ve got to figure it out themselves. You have to stay positive with yourself because if you don’t, the ball is going to keep finding you,” he said. “It’s going to keep coming, so you just have to bounce back and make the play.”

Freshman Traiton Cleveringa threw the first five and one-third innings on the hill with seven hits, five runs of which only one was earned, no walks and one strikeout. Heynen threw two-thirds of an inning with one hit, four runs that were all earned, four walks and no strikeouts. Thomas Brummel finished the game with one inning of work, five hits, four runs of which three were earned, no walks and no strikeouts.

Offensively, Byron Maassen had one hit, one run and one stolen base. De Boer had one hit and one RBI. Heynen had one hit and one RBI. Cleveringa had one hit and Caden Vis had the final hit, which was a double.

Trinity comes out on top in pitchers’ dual with Harris-Lake Park

Nathan Broek | Sports Editor


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HULL-It was a bit of an odd ending to a quality pitchers’ dual between lefty Jordan Kyle of Harris-Lake Park and righty Andrew De Boer of Trinity Christian, but the Tigers were hungry for a win and got what they were looking for in a 1-0 War Eagle Conference victory Wednesday, June 7.

The score was tied at goose eggs following the seventh inning, resulting in the extra frame. De Boer threw a scoreless frame against the Wolves, giving Trinity Christian another opportunity to get the game-winning run.

Leading off that frame was Thomas Brummel. After being down 0-2 in the count, Brummel battled back and got Kyle to throw a mistake pitch, which Brummel lined into left field for a single. The Tigers then had the top of the order up with Ethan Van Bemmel. He swung at and missed the first pitch, before fouling off a bunt attempt to result in a 0-2 count. Van Bemmel eventually worked the count full before striking out, but due to the new pitch count rules by the Iowa High School Athletic Association, Harris-Lake Park had to take Kyle out due to 110 pitches thrown.

The Wolves elected to go with right-handed reliever, Braeton Nitszchke, who Trinity Christian saw before in a 13-2 defeat Friday, May 26. Nitszchke faced Logan Cleveringa and before Cleveringa stepped into the box, he got the sign from coach Mike De Jager for a hit-and-run play.

Cleveringa missed the pitch as Brummel sprinted toward second base. The throw from the catcher was high and sailed into center field, allowing Brummel to race to third base.

With the pressure to keep Brummel at third base the Harris-Lake Park center fielder raced to try and grab the ball, but in the process over-ran the ball and missed it which allowed Brummel to come charging home for the game-winning run.

Despite the unusual ending, De Jager said it was a good pitchers’ dual to watch.

“It was Jordyn Kyle versus Andrew De Boer. They were going at it mano y mano,” he said. “They hit the ball harder than we did as we struck out 15 times. I don’t know what it is about hard-throwing lefties, but that’s two games (this week) where that happened. But the guys battled enough to knock him (Kyle) out due to the pitch count rules.”

De Boer’s final stat line was eight innings of work with six hits, zero runs, zero walks and four strikeouts. At the plate, Brummel had one hit, one run and a stolen base. Byron Maassen had one hit and a steal. Ethan Heynen, Ethan Van Bemmel and Dawson Vis had the final hits.

Tigers sweep the season series against Wolverines

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Trinity Christian1-2-1-4-2-0-010

HULL-After defeating South O’Brien in its first game of the 2017 season, Trinity Christian had a lot of confidence for a similar performance against the Wolverines Friday, June 9. That confidence showed on the field with a 10-5 victory in War Eagle Conference baseball.

The first time these two teams met was May 24 and Trinity Christian came away with a 15-0 victory. This time the Tigers scored one run in the first inning before finding themselves down 3-1 after the top of the second frame. But Trinity Christian had a quick response, tallying two runs for a 3-3 tie.

The Tigers then took the game by the throat with one run in the bottom of the third, four runs in the bottom of the fourth and two runs in the bottom of the fifth. The final runs for South O’Brien were two unearned runs in the top of the seventh.

“They (the kids) had a lot of confidence going into tonight. The first time we played South O’Brien we hit the ball well then too,” said Tigers’ coach Mike De Jager. “We beat them pretty bad, so you could see the kids had confidence going into tonight.”

Leading the way offensively was Ethan Heynen with a 3-for-4 performance with one run and three RBIs. Logan Cleveringa had two hits and one run. Jerron Van Egdom had one hit — a double — one run and two RBIs. Byron Maassen had one hit, one run, one RBI and one stolen base. Andrew De Boer had one hit, one run and one RBI. Caden Vis had one hit, two runs and one RBI. Traiton Cleveringa had one hit, two runs and one RBI.

“The guys just put the bat on the ball, and South O’Brien made some errors, but all-in-all we hit the ball pretty hard,” De Jager said.

Van Egdom was the starting pitcher and threw six innings with eight hits, three runs of which two were earned, three walks and four strikeouts. Heynen recorded one out in the seventh inning in relief with one hit, two unearned runs, one walk and one strikeout. Cleveringa finished off the game with no hits, no runs, no walks and no strikeouts.

“Jerron Van Egdom pitched really well. Defensively, we maybe had one or two errors, but neither of them were costly and I was happy to see we didn’t have that five- or six-error game again like we have been having,” De Jager said. “Ethan Van Bemmel also did a good job behind the plate. He actually threw two runners out trying to steal. That was nice to see.”

Trinity gains valuable experience at West Lyon tournament

LARCHWOOD-Trinity Christian ran into a hot West Lyon team at the West Lyon baseball tournament Saturday, June 10, but the Tigers got the experience of playing an upper-class team they were looking for this early in the season.

Game 1

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This tournament turned out to be a double-header between Trinity Christian and the Wildcats as Akron-Westfield was a late scratch.

In game one, the Tigers got out to a 1-0 lead after the first inning. Ethan Van Bemmel drew a walk and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt and a passed ball. Byron Maassen then hit a double past the shortstop to score Van Bemmel.

“We scored a run and I was happy to see us score first,” said Trinity Christian coach Mike De Jager.

But the West Lyon offense came into this game with white-hot bats, averaging more than 10 runs per contest in their last four previous games, and the Wildcats proved that fact. West Lyon scored two runs in the bottom half, five in the bottom of the second, three in the bottom of the fourth and five in the bottom of the fifth to enforce the mercy rule.

De Jager said his pitching staff ran into control problems early in the game, but gave credit to the Wildcats for hitting the ball hard.

“First game our pitchers didn’t throw strikes very well, so they had a few big innings the first couple of innings. The first inning we had a walk and an error, the second inning we had two walks and the third inning we had a walk and a hit batter,” he said. “After that I thought our pitchers settled down, but their guys just hit the ball all over the place.”

Traiton Cleveringa went two innings as the starting pitcher with five hits, seven runs of which five were earned, five walks and no strikeouts. Dawson Vis went two innings with seven hits, eight runs of which seven were earned, three walks and three strikeouts.

Offensively, Maassen had his previously-mentioned RBI double. Van Bemmel had two walks and scored the lone run. Andrew De Boer, Caden Vis and Torrey Heynen had the final hits with Heynen also stealing one base.

Game 2

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West Lyon3-6-4-0-X13

The strong hitting by the Wildcats played itself out again in game two. Once again the Tigers scored one run in the top of the first inning, but West Lyon came right back with three in the bottom half, six in the second and four in the third for a 13-1 lead. Neither team was able to score again the rest of the way and the game was called due to the mercy rule after the fifth inning.

“We scored first and I was happy to see us score first, but after that West Lyon was hitting the ball all over the place today,” De Jager said. “They are just a very well-coached team and a very deep team. They just hit the ball very hard today.”

On the flip side, De Jager felt the busy schedule for his team this past week took its toll in this tournament.

“For us, I’m not going to lie, this was games five and six for the week. Not trying to make excuses, but our guys didn’t have much physically to compete today,” De Jager said.

But he felt his team got the experience it was looking for out of this tournament.

“Overall, I thought we battled for the most part and it’s a good experience to face those upper-echelon teams,” De Jager said. “Once we start getting into the later part of our schedule, that’s when we start playing the upper-echelon teams in our conference too. Granted, I’m throwing freshman pitchers out there that don’t have a lot of experience but this is why we do those games for the experience. They (the freshmen) are not going to get too many opportunities throughout the week.”

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