BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WEST POINT – Three hours of pretty darned good baseball was decided in just a few seconds of play Thursday night as Holy Trinity lost 4-2 to Cardinal of Eldon at South Park in West Point.
Cardinal (7-10) took advantage of a bit of trickery in their half of the 10th inning to break up the stalemate that had gone on for about four innings when Marcus Olson opened the top of the 10th with a single to left off reliever Reed Fehseke.
The Comets’ Trey Albert then pushed a bunt down the first base line that Fehseke couldn’t catch up with as Albert went racing by to the bag. As the Crusaders went to reset, Albert slid off first and Fehseke turned and started a run down. Meanwhile Olson creeped around third looking for home. Fehseke, among shouts from all dugouts and players, watched both players and as Olson moved back toward third, Fehseke went for the out at first and overthrew first allowing Olson to score what amounted to the game winning run.
Albert raced to third on the play and was eventually driven in on a fielder’s choice ground out to second. Fehseke got the next hitter to strike out followed by another ground out to second to end the inning.
“I was on my way out to call time out to reset and I looked up and that guy was in between the bases,” Crusaders Head Coach Albert Schinstock said.
But the Crusaders went into the bottom half of the 10th with the top of the order up. Fehseke reached on a walk, but got caught up in a double play when Jason Thurman ripped a line drive that landed in the Comet’s 2nd baseman’s mitt. Fehseke was about 1/3 of the way to second and had to turn back to tag but was too late and the bases were cleared with two outs.
Collin Thornton singled through the middle and Kyle Bredemeyer drew a walk. Garrett Hannum came into pinch run and the Crusaders were in business with two outs in the inning with senior Cameron Bahl at the plate in the five spot. A strike call and a foul ball set up an 0-2 count and the next pitch was a breaking ball in the dirt that had Bahl out in front on a check swing. The ball bounced in the dirt, Cardinal freshman Ryan Clark scooped it up and tagged Bahl. Bahl looked to the homeplate umpire who rung him up on the checkswing and tag out to end the game.
The Crusaders got 5 2/3 of solid work from senior Nathan Bredemeyer who worked in a mid-range fast ball with some deep breaking stuff to keep the Cardinal’s hitters off balance most of the game before giving way to Fehseke in the sixth. Bredemeyer gave up two runs on four hits and five walks including a lead-off walk in the first inning that resulted in a run on an error.
“We only wanted to let Nathan throw about 90 pitches so we could have him for Senior Night on Monday,” Schinstock said. “But he looked really good with strong command of his pitches and was throwing strikes.”
Fehseke came in the sixth for the first time on the mound since injuring his arm about three weeks ago and struck out six giving up the two runs in the 10th on just three hits.
“This was a very good team effort. I’m really proud of the way the kids played tonight. Even considering our 12-1 win over Danville, this was the best I’ve seen them play,” Schinstock said.
In addition to the strong pitching game, Schinstock had special praise for catcher Kyle Bredemeyer who went the whole game behind the plate, including throwing out a runner stealing to end the fifth inning.
The Crusaders scored their runs in the fourth inning when they took a 2-1 lead. Thornton, who went 4-4 on the night with four singles to right-center singled to start the inning. Kyle Bredemeyer flew out to shallow center and then Bahl lined a single to center scoring Thornton who was given second on a balk call. Ben Tinguely popped out to first and Nathan Bredemeyer worked a walk bringing up Kaden Medland. Schinstock came down the line to have a short conversation with Medland who stepped into the box and lined the first pitch to left field scoring Bahl from second. Quentin Schneider grounded to the pitcher on a check swing to end the rally.
Cardinal put up their second run in the top of the sixth after a lead-off walk to Albert and a wild pitch moved him to second. Mason Aschenbrenner then singled to right to drive in Albert.
The Crusaders now are now 2-14 on the year and are off until Monday night when Columbus Junction comes to town for a varsity-only 5:30 game. Wilson Bros. BBQ will be on hand serving for a good will donation.