Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Sports

August 1, 2013

Team-based attitude pushes Post 512 to state Altamont headed to first Junior Legion championships

ALTAMONT — Altamont Post 512 has played five must-win games this postseason in its run from Effingham to Centralia to West Frankfort.They've won all five, even requiring two last-ditch comeback efforts in West Frankfort to continue its run to the state finals.Post 512, who was the fourth seed in its six-team district in Effingham, is now one of the last eight teams standing in Illinois Junior Legion baseball. They open the state tournament Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in Paris, taking on the hosting Paris Post 211 junior team.The rough road has made coach Jeff Fritchtnicht's squad stronger. "When you go through any difficult time with a group of people, it pulls you together," he said. "When you have tough baseball games, and you have to count on each other to pull together, they all start believing in each other."Belief in one's self and one's teammates has been the mantra for Post 512 all along, and the belief has bloomed and taken on a life of its own. Now, Post 512 is making its first appearance in the state tournament since the team's inception four years ago."We couldn't even win a game in districts our first year," Fritchtnitch said. "We're proud to be there, but we're staying focused. We set a goal to be competitive all the way through."Altamont's strength has undoubtedly been its pitching, as its rotation of Ryan Armstrong, Nick Miller, Caden Miller and Klaiton Wolff have carried them through multiple trips to the losers' bracket. The bats have done their fair share when called upon in close games, but it's been the pitching and defense that has kept them in games. In divisional play in West Frankfort, Altamont scored just 10 runs in four games, but allowed only seven runs. The team didn't have to pitch its fifth arm, Cole Borders, as Armstrong, Wolff and the Millers tossed complete games in four straight games in West Frankfort."Our pitching is definitely a strength. Even when they throw bad pitches, our defense has made good plays and bailed them out," Fritchtnitch said. "We have five guys we can put on the mound and feel confident. Whoever's pitching, we're going to play great defense behind them."They'll hope to keep that up against a relatively unknown Paris team, whom Altamont did not face during the regular season. Fritchtnitch has done his homework, but ultimately knows what to expect out of Paris and the other six teams Altamont could potentially face. "Doing the little bit of research I've been able to do, they're a good-hitting baseball team," he said. "That should be expected this time of year. You don't blow anybody out. You can expect to be in a 1-0 game, a 2-1 game, a 3-2 game."The rest of the field is made up of Moultrie-Douglas, Jerseyville Post 492, Moline Post 246, Orient Post 1961, Belleville Post 58 and Macon County Post 105.A win will move Altamont on to the second round at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, and a loss will send them to the losers' bracket at 10 a.m. Sunday. A loss in the first round would require six straight wins to take home the state crown. It's been the team-based attitude that's pushed Post 512 this far, and Fritchtnitch said his squad is something to be proud of. "A lot of communities wish they had a team," he said. "A lot of communities have baseball players that play together, but don't have a team."Altamont's push for a state tile begins at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at Laker Stadium, 137 W. Steidl Road, in Paris.

 

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    Newton took on Breese Post 252 Gray for the Junior Legion District 23 title as the two division winners, but Breese’s bats proved too much for Newton in an 9-3 loss for Post 20.
    “The innings where they put some runs on us, we gave them some extra outs,” said Newton coach John Grunloh. “You’ve got to make the plays when you play better teams.”

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    Most of the games at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament have seen pitching take control, but the pitchers in Sunday night's Effingham Post 120/Newton Post 20 game faced an uphill battle.
    While Brock Mammoser started the game for Post 20 on the hill and struggled, he came through with the biggest hit in the game, putting Newton up for good in a 7-5 win over Effingham.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Campton.jpg Dieterich Post 628 eliminates Teutopolis Post 924 3-2

    Errors proved to be Teutpolis Post 924's undoing against Dieterich Post 628, as Dieterich's sixth-inning rally in an 3-2 win were boosted by three Teutopolis errors
    To lead off the sixth, Trenton Poe reached on an error by Brock Bueker, and came around to score on an infield single by Ryan Radloff with a throwing error on Bueker. Poe was already on third when the ball went in the Teutopolis dugout, awarding Poe home to tie the game.
    Bryce McClain followed with an RBI single to score Radloff and put Post 628 up for good. Dieterich scored again on a Briar Schmidt groundout where first baseman Brant Bueker tried to get an inning-ending out at second, but the throw was wild and brought home McClain.

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  • Teutopolis, Deters down Altamont Post 512 2-0

    TEUTOPOLIS — Lucas Deters didn't get a ton of run support from his Teutopolis Post 924 teammates, but he didn't need much in a complete-game shutout, and Teutopolis ended Altamont Post 512's season with a 2-0 win Sunday afternoon.
    Deters' efforts at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament kept Teutopolis alive in the loser's bracket to face Dieterich Post 628 immediately following the win.

    July 21, 2014

  • Poe.jpg Two-out rally pushes Dieterich to win; Post 628 beats Vandalia Post 95 4-3

    Down one with two outs and Vandalia Post 95 ace Zach Schaal coming in in relief, Dieterich Post 628 had a tough task to keep its season alive.
    But down 3-2, Cole Hartke and Charlie Thoele laced back-to-back singles to score Briar Schmidt and Flach, respectively, to take a 4-3 lead.
    Clayton Campton held the lead in the seventh, striking out two and getting Post 95 in order to keep Dieterich's season alive.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jansen.jpg Late Newton rally downs Robinson 4-2

    Newton Post 20 rarely had an answer for Robinson Post 69's Brayden Burch, but thanks to a few key Robinson errors, Newton took their District 23 opener 4-2 Friday night.
    With the game tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Mitch Jansen led off with a walk, followed by Tim Weber reaching on an error by Robinson shortstop Zander Laino and a bunt single by Luke Geier.
    Mike Carr came through with a bloop single to center, scoring Jansen to put Newton up 2-1.Burch struck out John Grunloh and Joe Stone, but second baseman Cameron Neese booted a grounder by Mitch Bierman and two more runs scored.

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    July 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Clausius (2).JPG Post 120 pulls away from Dieterich

    A pitcher’s duel between Effingham’s Will Clausius and Dieterich’s Charlie Thoele broke not at the plate, but on the mound.
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    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Rexroad.jpg Vandalia upsets second-seeded Altamont

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    Altamont, coming off a trip to the state tournament last summer, was upset by Vandalia and Zach Schaal. Post 512 was the second seed in the tournament, but Schaal was up to the challenge for seventh-seeded Vandalia.
    He pitched a complete game, knocking Altamont to the loser’s bracket — where they battled their way out of at last year’s district tournament to make the divisional round. Altamont scored two runs late on an error by shortstop Matt Radamachier, but those were the post’s only runs.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

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