BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
KEOSAUQUA – Van Buren’s Jacob Plecker went 4-for 4 with three doubles and two RBIs to lead Van Buren to 11-7 win over a heartbroken Holy Trinity boys baseball team.
The team was reeling from the death of an HTC classmate in an ATV accident Sunday morning near Pilot Grove.
“Unfortunately we came out tonight cold and we really didn’t get into the game until the 4th inning,” said head Coach Albert Schinstock.
“The team, as well as our community, suffered a great loss in the passing of a classmate/friend on Sunday. Understandably, we were a little distracted. I’m proud of the team for coming out and not giving up tonight and pushing through in spite of all the mixed emotions they are currently facing.”
Jason Thurman would score in the top half of the first for HTC when Collin Thornton hit into a fielder’s choice at third. Thurman had advanced to third after being hit by a pitch and advancing on a Reed Fehseke walk and a wild pitch. Fehseke would be doubled off at third when Kyle Bredemeyer lined out.
Van Buren jumped all over starter Kadin Medland in the bottom of the first inning scoring four runs before the Crusaders could get the first out. The Warriors worked through the lineup and the Medland got Jaxon Thomas to fan to end the inning. Plecker hit a two-RBI double to get the scoring started.
With HTC down 5-1, both teams went scoreless until the bottom of the third when the Warriors chased Medland after racking up four more hits and another run capitalizing on two HTC fielding errors. Cole Thornton came on with two outs and gave up three consecutive singles before Schinstock brought in Vason Thurman to try and stop the rally. Thurman gave up two more runs before getting Tony Davison to fly out to Schneider in center with Van Buren up 11-1.
The bats would come alive in the top of the fourth for HTC. After Bredemeyer led off with groundout to short, Adam Rauenbuehler drew a walk and Vason Thurman singled to right scoring Rauenbuehler. Medland drew a walk and Zander Schweiss singled to left moving Thurman and Medland up a base.
Quentin Schneider then doubled to right center scoring Thurman and Medland and leaving Schweiss at third who then came around to score on Jason Thurman’s single to left. Fehseke got plunked by a pitch and then Collin Thornton hit a single to the opposite field in right to score Schneider from third. Bredemeyer grounded out again to short, but scored Thurman. Rauenbuehler followed with a strike out to end the rally with two men on and the Crusaders down 11-7.
Niether team would score again the rest of the way out. Van Buren’s Davison would get the win going 3 1/3 allowing four runs all earned on one hit and struck out three. Mason McDonough came on in relief in the fourth and surrendered three runs on five hits and also struck out three.
For HTC, Medland gave up four runs, two earned on six hits and fanned one. Vason Thurman allowed two runs, both unearned on six hits and no strikeouts. Cole Thornton took the loss for HTC finishing the game allowing three runs, one earned on one hit and a walk.
The Crusaders who had one three of the last four, fall to 7-12 on the night and play host to West Burlington tonight, and then Fort Madison on Wednesday night and Highland at South Park on Thursday to wrap up the regular season.