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.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Cox.jpg Cardinals fly by Blackhawks 16-0

    The frustrations from a tough 7-6 loss by North Clay to South Central Tuesday were relieved on the field Wednesday, as the Cardinals blasted the Sandoval Blackhawks 16-0 in five innings.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • czachorskimug.jpg Czachorski: My own field of dreams

    A few weeks ago, I sat behind the backstop at Evergreen Park, watching St. Anthony and South Central play baseball and taking photos when I overheard a conversation.
    It was a few seven- or eight-year-old kids, just talking about the game in front of them, nearly gushing over some of their favorite players on St. Anthony.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Green.jpg Green settling into Whitecaps rotation

    Since inking his pro deal, Effingham and University of Louisville alum Chad Green has donned a number of different jerseys.
    In just over a year, Green's played for the Gulf Coast League Tigers, the Lakeland Flying Tigers, the West Michigan Whitecaps and, even just for a day or two, the Detroit Tigers.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vonderheide.jpg Windsor/Stew-Stras combines for five-inning no-hitter

    The second inning was good to Windsor/Stew-Stras again.
    The Blue Devils scored 17 runs in the second inning of their 19-7 win against Cumberland on Tuesday, then scored 10 more in the same frame of a 16-0 rout of Ramsey on Wednesday, all while being shut out in the first inning of both games.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Altamont downs Charleston 6-2

    At least it’s the last year of the Ohnesorges for Altamont’s opponents.
    That’s the sister duo of Madison and Lauren that have been top athletes at Altamont High School. The pair produced once again in a 6-2 win over Charleston at Karch Field.

    April 23, 2014

  • ZGard1.jpg Pitcher's duel: Gardewine leads St. Anthony over Teutopolis 1-0

    Zach Gardewine gripped the game ball tightly in his right hand and smiled.
    It’s not every day a pitcher shuts out the loaded Teutopolis lineup and he knew it. Gardewine became the first player to blank the Wooden Shoes, in St. Anthony’s 1-0 win on Tuesday, since Dieterich duo Tanner Traub and Jake Bohnhoff on March 22, 2013.

    April 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • 4-22Ziegler.jpg Ziegler's choice an easy one

    Lake Land College’s Grace Ziegler had a choice after her two years playing were up.
    The Altamont alumna basically whittled her options down to this: continue to play basketball collegiately at a four-year institution, or transfer to a four-year institution to have a traditional college student experience.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Vonderheid.jpg Vonderheide, W/SS win at Charleston 12-0

    Christian Vonderheide had the luxury of choosing which was better.
    It was either the grand slam, or a complete game shutout thrown by the right hander.
    “They are both pretty equal,” Vonderheide said. “Pitching is more of my thing. The grand slam I got lucky. I swung hard, and I was lucky enough for it to go over the fence."
    The win could be more important as Windsor/Stew-Stras pounded a 12-0 win over Charleston at CHS Field.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • czachorskimug.jpg Czachorski: Time to catch Cup fever

    I woke up early Friday morning and did something I never do these days -- I flipped on SportsCenter.
    It was the top of the 7 a.m. hour, and unshockingly, ESPN led with discussion of the playoffs.
    What left me flabbergasted was they were leading with the NHL playoffs, as I was truly unaware ESPN remembered that hockey was a sport.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • White2.jpg Indians' bats too much for Eagles

    An 11 a.m. start on Good Friday wasn't too early for Altamont, as the Indians pushed 10 across in the first frame and bested Newton 16-1 in five innings.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.