SEYMOUR — The pitchers were ahead of the hitters at the Edinburgh-Trinity Lutheran baseball game played Monday afternoon on the Cougars’ field.
The season opener for both teams ended at 2-2, called in the top of the sixth inning because of lightning and rain.
The Lancers actually scored twice in the top of the sixth, but since Trinity didn’t get to bat in the bottom of the inning the game reverts back to the last full inning — the fifth. The suspended game will be resumed at a later date to be determined.
Zach Murphy pitched for the Lancers and struck out nine, walked four and gave up three singles. One Trinity run scored on a passed ball, and the other run came across on a wild pitch.
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Trinity pitchers Jake Moore, Sam Crick, Chandler Reynolds and Ross Kruse combined for nine strikeouts and two walks and allowed six hits.
Edinburgh’s runs scored on a Cougars error and a hit. Trinity stranded six runners and Edinburgh left five on base.
Both Trinity’s Matt VonDielingen and Edinburgh’s Jason Burton are in their first year as head coaches.
Burton said he felt like Murphy threw well.
“I thought he was fairly effective, especially early in the game,” Burton said. “He got himself in some tough situations, but I was really proud of the way he dug in and battled back. He showed a lot of grit out there on the mound, something we can definitely see a lot more of going forward.”
VonDielingen said he liked what he saw out of his pitchers.
“We had some good pitching,” he said. “We did struggle once or twice falling behind in the count, but for the most part they did a really good job handling the hitters and keeping them off-balance. They had some hits, but I can only think of one ball that was well hit. Our defense was solid for the most part.”
The Cougars turned two double plays, with Crick starting both of them. In the third inning, he caught a soft line drive and threw to first to double off a runner, and in the fourth inning he fielded a grounder, stepped on second and threw to first to complete the twin killing.
The Lancers grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Parker Bryant singled with one out. Murphy followed with a double, with Bryant moving to third. Trinity catcher Jake VonDielingen tried to pick Bryant off third, but his throw sailed down the left-field line and allowed the Edinburgh runner to score.
Trinity had runners on in the first two innings, and after going out in order in the third, it took the lead in the fourth. Crick and Nick Mensendiek walked, and Kendall White walked to load the bases. Crick scored on a passed ball, and Mensendiek scored on a wild pitch and the Cougars were on top 2-1.
Gabe Wilson led off the top of the sixth for the Lancers with a single. He stole second and later scored on a single by Murphy.
Murphy went 3 for 3 for the day.
Burton said, “We definitely have to be more aggressive with our two-strike approach. Right now that’s our biggest weakness that we’re not attacking with two strikes. For the most part we had some guys do some great things today, but we’ve still got a long way to go, obviously.
“Going into an opener you’re trying to get a feel for where guys are playing and seeing things through. I definitely saw a lot of positives, and I saw a lot of things we’ve got to work on, but that’s the best part of the season. It’s a long journey for us.”
VonDielingen, Crick and White had the hits for the Cougars. VonDielingen, Crick, Mensendiek, and Jacob Crockett all reached first base safely twice.
Coach VonDielingen said, “We’ve just got to do a better job putting the bat to the baseball. We did not step up to the plate with the confidence that we’ve shown all spring in practice. I think we kind of out-thought ourselves a little bit.
“We weren’t as aggressive as we should be, and that kind of hurt us. Hopefully they’ll learn from that going forward. We’ve been hitting a lot of line drives, a lot of gap shots all spring in practice, and we just need to bring that into the game.”