In the past 365 days, Cooper Trinkle estimates that he’s hit baseballs either outside or in the Columbus North High School hitting room for 360 of them.
All that hitting paid off for the Bull Dog senior second baseman. He batted .463 with two home runs and 29 RBIs in leading North to sectional and regional titles and a final four appearance in Class 4A.
“It was just working to be consistent,” said Trinkle, The Republic Baseball Player of the Year. “In the offseason, I just wanted to go in every single day and work out or hit and have a consistent approach to get better. I trusted that process.”
Last summer, Trinkle worked out at the Bull Dogs’ baseball field at Southside Elementary with his brother Grant, along with Wade Rankin and Tyler Finke. Cooper Trinkle, who is headed to Evansville; Rankin, who is headed to Kankakee (Illinios) Community College; Finke, who will be a senior at North and Grant Trinkle, who will be a sophomore; were back on the field the week after the Bull Dogs lost to eventual Class 4A state champion Cathedral in the semistate.
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North coach Ben McDaniel said the success Cooper Trinkle has had isn’t by coincidence.
“He’s worked for it all,” McDaniel said. “Cooper is not going to miss a day. Even on his off days, he’s going in and hitting or working out or doing something. He’s setting an example for what it takes to be successful in this program, and beyond the program. We do a lot at this level, but it helps the guys understand what it takes to be successful in life.”
Cooper Trinkle also finished second on the team with 10 doubles, 10 stolen bases and 25 runs scored. McDaniel thinks he had a better season than he did last year, when he made first-team All-State.
This year, Cooper Trinkle has been selected to play in the North-South All-Star Series July 15-16 at Ball State. The All-State voting concludes next weekend.
“I had some big goals coming into the season, and I accomplished some of them,” Cooper Trinkle said. “I’m really happy with the postseason run that we made. It was a great way to go out my senior year.”
This summer, Cooper Trinkle is playing for the Razorbacks, a team of 18 Division I commits. The team went 6-0 last weekend in a tournament in Lexington, Kentucky, before being rained out of the championship game.
Cooper Trinkle, who committed to Evansville as a sophomore, will leave for there in August.
“My goal is to play next year, so I have to keep getting better,” he said. “I want to compete to start. All-Conference as a freshman would be pretty cool, but I just want to keep getting better.”
The Republic All-Area team:
Cooper Trinkle, Columbus North: The senior led the Bull Dogs with a .463 average, two home runs and 29 RBIs.
Kevin Thompson, Columbus North: The senior went 3-2 with a 1.69 ERA and batted .306 with 15 RBIs.
Tyler Finke, Columbus North: The junior batted .394 and led the Bull Dogs with 37 stolen bases and 33 runs.
Parker Maddox, Columbus North: The sophomore went 3-4 with a 3.57 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 53 innings.
Wade Rankin, Columbus North: The senior batted .330 with one home run and 15 RBIs and led the Bull Dogs with 11 doubles.
Julian Greenwell, Columbus East: The sophomore went 6-1 with an 0.71 ERA and led the Olympians with a .411 average and three HR.
Jon Crawford, Columbus East: The senior went 5-3 with a 2.79 ERA, batted .388 with 17 RBIs and led the Olympians with 13 doubles.
Luke Hostetler, Columbus East: The senior batted .348 with two HR and led the Olympians with 24 RBIs.
Cameron Hartog, Hauser: The junior went 3-1 with a 1.40 ERA and led the Jets with a .440 average and 31 RBIs.
Sam Meek, Hauser: The junior went 9-2 with a 1.60 ERA and batted .368 with 21 RBIs.
Cody Wilson, Jennings County: The xxx went 3-0 with a 2.71 ERA, led the Panthers with a .382 average and 21 runs and had 15 RBIs.
Tyler Vogel, Jennings County: The senior went 2-5 with a .341 ERA and batted .364 with 19 runs.
Hunter Seegers, South Decatur: The senior led the Cougars with a .532 average, 10 doubles, two HR and 26 RBIs.
Jake Moore, Trinity Lutheran: The senior went 6-3 with a 1.45 ERA, led the Cougars with a .463 average and 21 RBIs and had two HR.
Kendall White, Trinity Lutheran: The senior batted .435 with 19 RBIs and led the Cougars with three HR.
Zach Murphy, Edinburgh: The junior went 3-6 with a 2.30 ERA, led the Lancers with a .409 average and 14 doubles and had 19 RBIs.
Brown County: Grant Suding. Columbus East: Jonathan Foster, Eric McMullen. Columbus North: Casper Clark, Korry Drum, Nolan Wetherald. Edinburgh: Parker Bryant, Coltan Henderson. Hauser: Sean Miller, Evan Shaw. Jennings County: Matt Kirchner, Garrett Marsh. South Decatur: Oakley Billingsley. Trinity Lutheran: Sam Crick, Jake VonDielingen.