NEW LONDON — The New London and Van Buren County baseball teams were coming off two very games on Tuesday night. Van Buren came in following a 24-6 slaughtering of Danville, and New London was one day removed from a 14-1 drubbing at the hands of Notre Dame, but the Tigers got their swagger back and beat the Warriors 7-2.
New London jumped out to an early lead on a sacrifice fly by Holvin Catala in the bottom of the first. Van Buren responded immediately, scoring two in the second on a Casey Yochum RBI single and a run from Dylan Richardson on a double steal, but New London grabbed the lead back on RBI singles by Seth Bailey and Kooper Schulte and the Tigers led 3-2 after two frames.
New London stretched the lead to 4-2 on an RBI single by Tucker Gibbar in the third inning. Gibbar would knock in another in the bottom of the fifth. Jordan Johnson followed that by scoring on an error to make it 6-2, and Ryan Richey scored on a wild pitch to end the scoring at 7-2.
Catala picked up the win on the mound, giving up two runs on two hits and four walks over four innings, while striking out five. Kooper Schulte and Josh Catala combined for three shutout frames.
New London coach Brad Helmerson said he thought his squad improved on all facets after a tough loss at Notre Dame the night before.
“It’s good to come back and have another good challenge the next night, and see how the kids respond,” Helmerson said. “We were a little hard on them (Monday) night after the game, but when they’ve got the talent, we push them a little more and expect a little more.”
Treyton Bainbridge gave up four runs over four innings to take the loss on the mound for Van Buren. Ryan Wolf came in to relieve Bainbrdige, but neither pitcher received much run support after a 24-run output just five days prior.
“We had that inning where we scored two runs, and after that we kind of went cold at the plate,” said head coach Chad Scott. “When you get into a situation like that, you just tip your cap to the other team.”