BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
WEST POINT – Holy Trinity Catholic’s Cole Thornton threw four innings of shutout baseball giving up just one hit as HTC unleashed a 16-0 rout of Burlington Notre Dame Thursday night at South Park.
The freshman kept Nike hitters off balance in the run-shortened affair only fanning one and walking two in facing just 15 hitters in the game.
“Cole did a nice job on the mound and also made some good plays fielding his position,” said head coach Albert Schinstock.
Thornton also helped offensively with a two-out double in the second inning that scored senior Collin Thornton from second.
Sophomore Reed Fehseke led the Crusaders at the plate going 3-for-3 with two RBI and three runs scored. Fehseke scored the first run of the game in the bottom half of the first on a Kyle Bredemeyer single to right center.
But the real damage came in the bottom of the second when Vason Thurman opened the inning with a single to left. Two batters later senior Zander Schweiss reached on an error with Thurman moving to second. A wild pitch put Thurman and Schweiss in scoring position with just one out.
Quentin Schneider grounded to short scoring Thurman to five the Crusaders a 2-0 lead. Then the Crusaders, who have been cursed a good part of the year being scored on with two outs, turned the tables and got back-to-back singles from Jason Thurman and Fehseke. Thurman’s single plated Schweiss. Fehseke’s hit moved Thurman to second and they both advanced on a wild pitch. Collin Thornton drew a walk to load the bases and Bredemeyer singled to center to score Fehseke.. Thornton scored on his brother’s double before Vason Thurman fanned to end the inning HTC 6-0.
Thornton gave up a walk to the Nike’s Mitchell Brent, one of only five base runners on the night for Notre Dame, to start the third, but then threw just six more pitches getting a fly out, line out, and ground out to end the inning.
The Crusaders then jumped all over Nike freshman Brady Oleson, plating the first eight batters of the inning. Notre Dame brought in reliever Lucas Anderson to face the top of the lineup with no outs but the barrage continued highlighted by a two run double from Collin Thornton. Schneider had two RBI in two at bats in the inning, both singles.
“The boys were hitting the ball hard and early. They got on top quick and were able to get in the Nike’s heads,” Schinstock said. “It’s great to see our team starting to get some confidence out there. They are a young, talented team with a very bright future.”
With the Crusaders putting up eight runs, Anderson finally got Collin Thornton to ground into a third-out fielder’s choice forcing Fehseke at second to end the rally but notching the 15-run rule after four.
Cole Thornton gave up a two out single to Brent and plunked Trenton Blythe before getting Anderson to ground out to deep short to end the game.
The Nikes fall to an even 11-11 on the year, while the Crusaders move to 7-11 on the season and now enjoy a rare three-day break over the weekend before traveling to Van Buren on Monday night.