TEUTOPOLIS — The fact that Dieterich played Teutopolis on Friday was unexpected. The outcome was even more surprising.
After the Movin’ Maroons’ scheduled game at Beecher City/Cowden-Herrick was cancelled due to unplayable field conditions, Jamie VanScyoc’s team made arrangements to travel to T-Town instead.
It was a lot to ask of his squad — taking on the two-time Class 2A state champions on short notice in their spring opener — but the Movin' Maroons responded, as Tanner Traub shut out the Wooden Shoes potent lineup for six innings, and huge sixth inning propelled Dieterich to an 8-0 upset.
“It was a great way to start the spring,” said VanScyoc, whose team went just 7-13 in the fall. “This is the second time we’ve been on a field (this spring). We practiced on our field one day and we’ve had a lot of gym practice. For my kids to come out and do this, I hope it’s a sign of good things to come the rest of the spring.”
Fans would have never guessed the Movin’ Maroons had practiced outdoors just one time based on the sharp pitching of Traub and his defenses’ flawless play throughout.
Both helped Dieterich overcome a shaky start on offense, as T-Town starter Darren Probst struck out the first seven Movin’ Maroons batters in frigid 38-degree conditions at the start of the game.
But Dieterich grabbed some momentum in the second, as center fielder Jake Bohnhoff gunned down T-Town courtesy runner Ted Jansen at the plate after a single by Reed Hardiek to keep the game scoreless. Bohnhoff had three other nice running catches and was in late-spring form on a decisively winter-like day.
“Jake tracked down a lot of balls,” VanScyoc said. “And him coming up on that ball up the middle and throwing that kid out at home plate, I think that was another key part today to kind of set the tone for us. It gave our kids (confidence) to know, ‘Hey, we’re in this.’”
Probst didn’t allow a hit until giving up a two-out single to Alex Bohnhoff in the fifth, but the righty started struggling with his control in the second — walking the bases loaded — which led, in part, to T-Town coach Justin Fleener pulling him after five innings of work. Probst struck out 10, but issued five walks.
“He was over 80 pitches and I think, right now, I don’t want him to go much more than that,” Fleener said. “He had struggled the last two innings… With 36-degree weather and other guys I can throw out there in that situation on March 22nd, we’ll work them in on that.”
Unfortunately for the Shoes, continued control issues by a trio of relievers — along with a pair of errors — proved combustible in a nightmarish sixth. Dieterich wound up sending 14 batters to the plate against relievers Justin Kenter, Andy Borries and Cody Will, as the Maroons came up with five of their six hits and were issued four more walks.
Garrett Einhorn got the Maroons on the board with an RBI single to right and he added another RBI single later in the inning.
In addition to Einhorn’s productive sixth-inning at-bats, Reid Shoemaker had a big RBI hit from the ninth spot in the order, Alex Bohnhoff had an RBI groundout, Jake Bohnhoff plated an run and reached on a squeeze bunt that T-Town bobbled, and Traub, Westjohn and Poe had bases-loaded walks.
“We drew some walks in the big inning that we did have, that was kind of a key to it,” VanScyoc said. “We got a lot of guys on base with patience at the plate.
“We just kept battling. I just said, ‘Wait, our time’s gonna come. That one inning we kind of got things going, and once it got clicking it just kept clicking and we went from there.”
It just got more frustrating for T-Town from there, as the Shoes left the bases loaded in the sixth and stranded two more on in the seventh, as Jake Bohnhoff tracked down a 375-foot plus flyball by Kyle Pruemer to end the game.
“It’s one of those games where you look at the stats and think, ‘Man, we should have done alright,’” said Fleener, whose team left 10 on the basepaths. “But we left too many runners on and made our two mistakes in the situations we didn’t need to make them in.”
Traub scattered eight hits, struck out five and walked just two in his six innings — both in the sixth inning after he was clearly running out of gas. Jake Bohnhoff finished of the game in the seventh and helped Traub get eight flyball outs with his work in center.
“Tanner has been a very key part of this team for many years now,” VanScyoc said. “For him to come out and throw that way the first game of the spring just shows a lot of the kind of leadership he has.
“He’s a competitor. He came out and threw real well today for the first game of the spring. I felt he kept the ball down and mixed up his pitches a lot to keep them off balance.”
The victory against T-Town was just the latest in a string of recent upsets by the Maroons against the Shoes.
“We’ve always played them competitively over the course of the last five, six years,” VanScyoc said. “We’ve had kids take the mound who were able to compete with T-Town, and I think Tanner is another example of one of those kids that has the drive and the passion and the will power to want to compete.”
Dieterich will be back in action today at Windsor/Stewardson-Strasburg. T-Town will take on Greenville and Columbia today at Greenville.
“We’ll live and learn and tip our caps to Dieterich,” Fleener said. “They came over on their first day out and they executed well.”
Dieterich 8, T-Town 0
Dieterich		 000		 008		 0		 —		 8		 6		 0
T-Town		 000		 000		 0		 —		 0		 8		 3
WP — Traub. LP — Kenter.
Dieterich: A.Bohnhoff 1-4 (RBI, SB), J.Bohhoff (RBI), Traub (RBI), Westjohn 1-2 (RBI, SB), Einhorn 2-4 (2 RBI), Poe 1-3 (RBI), Shoemaker 1-4 (RBI).
T-Town: Waldhoff 1-4, Wendling 1-4 (2B), Wenthe 1-3 (SB), Pruemer 1-4 (2B), Probst 2-2 (2B), Hardiek 1-3, Gillespie 1-2.