Clay Battelle, Local Sports, Sports, Trinity Christian

Trinity Christian races past Clay-Battelle with explosive offensive display

BLACKSVILLE — It’s always a plus being able to score early in the game of baseball. It’s even better when you can do so before your pitcher even takes the mound.

The Trinity Christian baseball team plated five runs in the top half of the first inning on Wednesday night against Clay-Battelle and never looked back on the way to a 12-3 victory, avenging a 10-3 defeat to the Cee-Bees (1-7) on March 25.

The Warriors (4-5) collected 15 hits as a team, with five batters earning multiple knocks. Sophomores Parker Hopkins and Ryan Parker combined to go 7 for 9 at the plate. Parker earned four RBI on his four hits while Hopkins was a home run short of the cycle.

“We underperformed through the first part of the season and had a big gut check last week,” TCS coach Wes Hopkins said. “And our players responded. We moved some things around in the batting order and we’ve been able to produce double-digit runs in the last two games. We out-hit (Clay-Battelle) in our previous game and lost 10-3. Our pitching was good tonight and we put together a complete game. It’s easier pitching with a lead.”

It didn’t take long for TCS to put the first run on the board as junior Brock Shuba sent the second pitch of the game over the right-field fence.

Hopkins then singled and stole second, allowing Parker to bring him around to score on his own single to left field. Another base hit, this time by Thomas Dinkel, scored Parker and extended the lead to 3-0. The final two runs for TCS in the top half of the first inning came when Shuba hit a fly ball to left field that was dropped and allowed two runners to score.

The Cee-Bees’ offense struggled to gain momentum, only producing two hits in the contest coming from junior Austin Foley. 

“I told them after the game if you’re going to give up that many runs in the first inning you better be ready to hit,” CB coach Jeff Coombs said. “Trinity hit the ball really well tonight and we didn’t. That’s what it came down to. They were the better team and we just didn’t get anything going.”

The pitching duo of Hopkins and freshman Sam Fulk kept the CB batters in check with 16 combined strikeouts. Fulk pitched 3.1 innings in relief of Hopkins and didn’t give up a hit, run, or walk while fanning 11 batters.

“Sam is a dog,” Coach Hopkins said. “He is key for us and the way he pitches, it’s not like a freshman. He’s really showed his growth. He’s come in games in tough spots and taken the game over when he needs to. When the two of them are both throwing the way they did tonight I will always like our chances.”

TCS added four more runs in the top of the fourth and another in the seventh to reach its 12 runs.

The Warriors are now winners of two games in a row after three straight losses and will aim to continue their winning streak on Saturday with a doubleheader on the road at Preston.

CB will travel to Madonna to begin the week next Monday.

Trinity 12, Clay-Battelle 3
TCS 520 400 1 – 12 15 2
C-B 010 200 0 – 3 2 2
Trinity Christian (4-5) – Br. Shuba 4211 Hopkins 4330 Parker 5344 McPherson 5000 Timperio 5121 Dinkel 4221 Fulk 3100 Ba. Shuba 4011 Toler 3022 Bowers 1000
2B: Hopkins, Parker, Timperio
3B: Hopkins
HR: Br. Shuba
Clay-Battelle (1-7) – Spears 4000 Coen 2000 Summers 2000 Foley 3020 Mercer 3100 Henthron 3100 Danser 2000 Wilson 1000 Nestor 1000 Strosnider 1000 Hallet 1000 Stewart 3000
WP: Hopkins 3.2ip 2h 3r 3bb 5k
LP: Mercer 1.1ip 1h 1r 2bb 1k