Monday, November 28, 2022

Trinity Runs into Good Stuff in District 3 Baseball Final

If you are going to win a District 3A baseball championship, you are going to have to beat Lancaster Catholic and Oley Valley to hoist a trophy. The Trinity Shamrocks accomplished the former, but against the latter they came up short, 5-1, in the district final played under the lights at Fredericksburg’s Earl Wenger Memorial Field on June 1.

It was the first ever district championship appearance for the ’Rocks, while Oley Valley has been in the last five championship games and were defending champions from 2019. On the mound for the Lynx was Millersville University commit Garet Blankenbiller. The right hander surrendered only two hits and his stuff, while not overpowering, was nonetheless effective; his cut fastball, hard slider and snapping curve ball never allowed Trinity any solid bat barrel contact.

Trinity (15-6) sent sophomore Landon Kuntzleman to the mound, and he gave up just one hit. But a shaky second inning where he lost command of the plate cost the right-hander, as Oley Valley scratched across three runs set-up by several walks and a fielding miscue by the Trinity infield. The Lynx play fundamentally sound baseball; they work the count, execute small ball plays like sacrifice bunts and stolen bases, and play solid defense. It’s a formula that works for the perennially solid Berks County program. If you give the Lynx free bases, commit errors and wild pitches, you must beat their pitcher to win. Trinity’s good hitters just never got going.

’Rocks pitcher Landon Kuntzelman throws a two-seam fastball.
’Rocks pitcher Landon Kuntzelman throws a two-seam fastball.

Trinity moves on to the state playoffs, where they will meet District 12 top-seed La Salle College High School in the first round. That appearance marks the first time the Trinity baseball program has ever reached the PIAA state playoffs. Playing baseball in June means good things are happening on the diamond for Trinity. “Just to get to this point, there are a lot of other clubs that would love to be at this level right now,” head coach Chris Cap said.

(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)

By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness

Trinity’s Maika Niu moves off the plate with a pitch inside.
Trinity’s Maika Niu moves off the plate with a pitch inside.
Trinity’s catcher Payton Walker is late on a tag at home plate.
Trinity’s catcher Payton Walker is late on a tag at home plate.
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