Powerhouse hitting and strong pitching helped lead the Trojans to a much-needed win following a recent frustrating loss to the Grinnell Tigers.
The Trojans were looking for a win to lift their spirits and they would find just the ticket in their first meet up of the season with the AGWSR Cougars on Wednesday June 25.
After starting pitcher Grant Koch made quick work out of the top half of the Cougar's lineup, the Trojans came to the plate hungry for some hits.
Pitcher Grant Koch throws to first for an out on June 25.
Chronicle Photo/Allison Graham
Quality pitching, stiff defensive competition, and some bad luck kept the Trojan bats quiet during the first few games of the week. Head coach Seth Koch commented on the welcome change of pace for his offense saying, "After struggling on Monday and Tuesday swinging the bats and scoring some runs, I believe we took out a little frustration on AGWSR. I do believe everybody in the lineup had at least one hit and we ran the bases very aggressively."
Colson Frakes started things offensively for the Trojans by taking the second pitch from Travis Pfaltzgraff deep into center for a ground rule double. Frakes quickly came around to score as G. Koch squarely hit Pfaltzgraff's next pitch for a line drive, RBI single. Dalton Doyle followed with another double for the Trojans. After Cody Kellogg flew out to right field for the second out, the pressure would be on third baseman Mitch Thede. Thede did not disappoint as he hit a grounder for a single that scored Nick Ryan (running for Doyle). Through the first inning the Trojans were up with a score of 3-0.
The Trojans lit up the Cougars in the third inning to the tune of six runs coming from nine hits. The Cougars tried to stop the bleeding midway through the inning by bringing on Sully Hoffmeister to relieve Pfaltzgraff on the mound. Hoffmeister's efforts would not help the Cougars though as the Trojans went on to bat through their entire lineup before leaving the inning with a nine run lead. Defensively the Trojans were able to get a fairly quick stop as Brandon Johnson popped out in foul territory to Thede who nearly dove into the Cougar dugout. After the Cougars finally got on the board with an RBI double from Dylan Heetland, the Trojan defense snapped back into action with two quick groundouts to end the inning. First baseman Cody Kellogg was credited with the second out of the inning after making an acrobatic grab and stepping on first just before the runner hit the bag.
In the bottom of the fourth the Trojans soundly put the game on ice with four more runs coming from six hits, including an RBI triple from Kolton Smith. The Trojans racked up a season high 21 hits in Wednesday's contest.
The Cougars would manage one more run in the fifth but ultimately fell short after Koch struck out Johnson looking to end the game early with the Trojans up by 12 runs.
The junior Koch went three for three at the plate with two RBIs to go along with a quality outing on the mound that earned him his second win of the season. Koch's coach and father had this to say about his starting pitcher's performance, "Grant turned in a strong pitching performance today, surrendering only two runs and three hits to the Cougars."
Sophomore Blake Keller also had a standout performance for the Trojans. Keller, who seems to be gaining confidence with each at bat, turned in a solid stat line with two hits (both doubles), two runs, and three RBIs. Keller, along with Bailey Chyma, Mitch Thede, Colson Frakes, and (a currently injured) Justin Suchanek, comprise a strong sophomore class that will look to anchor the Trojan lineup in the coming years.
The Trojan softball team took on East Marshall on June 25 at home. East Marshall has a strong program and is currently ranked second in the state in class 3A with a record of 23-3. The Mustangs are also leading the NICL west conference. East Marshall brought their game faces scoring three runs in the first inning and one in the second. The game ended in the fourth inning as East Marshall put eight runs on the board bringing their lead to 12-0.