By RYAN CZACHORSKI
---- — TEUTOPOLIS -- The Effingham Flaming Hearts cruised through the first four innings and held a slim 2-1 lead over Teutopolis entering the fifth. But one bad inning for the Hearts, and conversely, one good inning for the Shoes was enough to push Teutopolis over Effingham with a 5-2 win Monday. Teutopolis tallied four runs in the fifth on just three hits, taking advantage of an early error and some small ball. "We started the inning off with a mistake, it led to some other things and that's how baseball is," "We gave up a few walks. You can't afford to walk anybody."Derek Smith led off the inning, reaching first on an infield error. He rounded first hard, and looked to be caught dead in the water between first and second. However, Smith wiggled his way out of the pickle and returning safely to first. Reed Hardiek followed that up with a single, and a sacrifice bunt effort by Cody Will turned into a perfectly-placed bunt single. Jared Waldhoff took advantage, lacing a line drive to center to tie the game at 2-2. Chris Fleener pulled starting pitcher Preston Walker for Devin Mayfield, but Mayfield struggled with control, walking both Chase Wendling and Bobby Wenthe with the bases loaded to give the Shoes a 4-2 lead. That was all for Mayfield, and while Drew Levitt came in and struck out the next three batters, Waldhoff scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-2. Justin Kenter, who had pitched the top of the fifth in relief of Wendling, took advantage of the opportunity for the win and put up two more scoreless frames to give Teutopolis the win. "He had a much better outing (than his first), he went to 3-0 on the last batter, but he some showed good perserverence and sticking to it," said Teutopolis coach Justin Fleener.It was a battle of brothers, with Justin's Shoes gaining the upper hand over Chris' Hearts. Still, it didn't hurt Chris too badly losing to his brother."It stings more than we had the lead and gave it up there," Chris Fleener said. Early on, Effingham seized control against Wendling. Braydon Bone led off with a walk and advanced to second on a balk, and a bunt by Walker put runners at first and third with no outs. With Levitt up, the Hearts pulled a double steal, as Walker took second and Bone stole home on a close play at the plate. Up 1-0, the Hearts couldn't push across any more that inning. They'd score again in the second, when Wendling walked the bases loaded with two outs, and Levitt came through with an RBI single to right field. Teutopolis quickly answered behind Kyle Pruemer. He led off the bottom of the second with a double, advanced to third on a passed ball and scored on a foul flyout by Darren Probst. Effingham loaded up the bases in the third inning and two runners on with two outs in the fourth, but failed to push home runners in either frame against Wendling. When Teutopolis got their chance, they struck and took the lead they'd never relinquish. "I would have liked to see more out there, but the Levitt kid came in and shut it down," Justin Fleener said. "We were real fortunate."It wasn't a banner day for either offense, as Teutopolis had five hits and Effingham had four. No player on either side had more than one hit. Waldhoff, Probst, Kenter and Bobby Wenthe had one RBI apiece for T-Town. Levitt had the Hearts' lone RBI.Kenter picked up the win in relief, tossing three shutout innings while allowing one hit and surrendering one walk. He had four strikeouts. Wendling walked seven in four innings, but minimized the damage, allowing just two runs. "We did not capitalize," Chris Fleener said. "We did not have the big hits when we needed them, we had some big hits but just couldn't get the guys home."Walker was saddled with the loss and all five runs, but just three were earned. Levitt struck out four in just two innings of relief. The win pushed Teutopolis' record to 7-1 on the year. Effingham falls to 1-2. Teutopolis played again Monday night, taking on Windsor/Stew-Stras immediately following the Effingham game. The Hearts are back in action Friday at Highland.
Teutopolis 5, Effingham 2Effingham 110 000 0 2 4 2Teutopolis 010 040 X 5 5 2WP - Kenter LP - Walker
Effingham -- Levitt (1-3, RBI, BB), Heuerman (1-3, BB, SB), Vail (1-1), Webb (1-2)Teutopolis -- Pruemer (1-3, 2B, R), Waldhoff (1-3, RBI, R, BB), Hardiek (1-2, R), Smith (1-3, R), Will (1-3, R)