BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
BURLINGTON – New London showed why they are 19-4 and the top seed in the district after belting two homers at Winegard field and eliminating the Holy Trinity baseball squad Tuesday night.
Despite the lopsided score, the Crusaders were playing even ball with the Tigers through the first two innings, but the Tigers broke loose in the bottom of the third for six runs chasing senior hurler Cameron Bahl after a lead-off triple.
Britt Noel ripped a line drive to left field that went to the fence. Kaden Medland and Quentin Schneider gave chase, but Noel motored to third with no outs prompting HTC head coach Albert Schinstock to pull Bahl, who had given up three straight extra base hits going back to the bottom of the second.
Schinstock brought in Reed Fehseke from third in relief of Bahl. Fehseke got Blake Nehring to pop out to second for the first out of the inning. Cole Helmerson then singled to right driving in Noel, followed by back-to-back doubles by Justin Henecke and Sam Loyd. Loyd’s double drove in Helmerson and Henecke. A hot shot to Collin Thornton at short was bobbled allowing Tyler Stevenson to reach first. Keontae Luckett then had an infield single that plated Loyd to give New London a 9-1 lead with just one out in the third.
Fehseke was pulled in favor of Jason Thurman who gave up another RBI double to left to Mason Porter to make it 10-1. Thurman, throwing a lot of off-speed stuff and keeping the Tigers off cadence, got Isaac McSorley to fly out to center and Noel to ground to first to end the six-run inning.
The Crusaders went 1-2-3 in the top half of the fourth. Schinstock brought Bahl back to the mound in the bottom half of the fourth and the Tigers responded with another five runs highlighted by a two-run homer to left by Henecke, and a three-run homer to left by Porter setting up a 10-run situation.
New London put Henecke on the mound to close the game out and he got Vasin Thurman to ground out unassisted to first, and Kyle Bredemeyer and Schneider both grounded out back to the pitcher to end the game.
To start the game The Tigers jumped out to 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Bahl got McSorley to fly out to Medland in left. Then Noel hit a flyball to left that Medland misjudged and allowed it go over his head for a double, one of eight on the night for the yellow and black. Nehring sacrificed Noel to third on a ground out to short. Helmerson reached on an error that allowed Noel to score putting New London up 1-0. Bahl got Henecke to ground out to Thornton at short to end the threat.
The Crusaders were sat down in order in the top of the second, despite a single by Tinguely. He was caught stealing on a close play at second and Vasin Thurman fanned for the third out.
New London put two more on the board in the bottom half with a lead off single by Loyd. Stevenson bunted him to second, but Bahl got Luckett to fly out to left for the second out. The Tigers then got back-to-back doubles by Porter and McSorley to left scoring Stevenson and Porter. Bahl then caught McSorley leaning and he was tagged out in a run down between second and third to end the inning.
Holy Trinity’s only run came after Kyle Bredemeyer hit a deep fly ball to right center for a double. Grant Ellison came in as a courtesy runner and scored on the next at bat when Tinguely came up with his second hit of the game, a single to right plating Ellison. Fehseke hit into a 6-4-3 double play to wipe out Tinguely. Medland worked a walk on the next at bat and New London brought in McSorley in relief of Noel and got Thornton to fly out to left for the third out.
“We just didn’t make plays early in the game and we got down early,” Schinstock said after the game. “Those were plays we could have made and against a team like that you can’t make those kinds of mistakes,” he said.
But Schinstock said the squad played well at the end of the season, including knocking off Pekin and giving Fort Madison a run for their money in the last week of the regular season.
“We went from one win last year to four wins this year,” he said. “And we played well toward the end of the year, but we have to stay with it all year around. We can’t just quit now and come back next year to play. We have to play all year round.”
He also credited his three seniors, Nathan Bredemeyer, Cameron Bahl, and Ben Tinguely, for helping lead the rest of the team.
“I want to thank my three seniors. They all three had good careers.”
Holy Trinity finishes the season 4-17 on the year.