ALEX MCNAMEE Daily News
Effingham Daily News
---- — TEUTOPOLIS — Bobby Wenthe isn’t necessarily “swinging for the fences,” but his long drives have turned into home runs recently, including a grand slam to lead Teutopolis to a 13-3 win on Wednesday.
The Eastern Illinois baseball commit hit a grand slam over the right field fence during a two-out rally that resulted in six more runs after three early runs in the third inning. It was his sixth home run of the season, according to the Wooden Shoes’ online statistics.
Wenthe said one of his teammates told him before his second at-bat of the inning, that Windsor/Stew-Stras pitcher Dylan Ohnesorge had been throwing fastballs right down the middle of the plate if he got behind in the count.
“He threw one outside, so I was iffy on whether or not he would throw another fastball,” Wenthe said of his mid-count adjustment. “He did, right down the middle, and I took a pretty easy swing at it. The ball just went.”
Wenthe’s grand slam brought in the final four runs of the inning, as Alex Goldstein lined out to the third baseman, who had to jump in the air to steal a base hit away from the Teutopolis catcher, leaving two players stranded on base.
The damage was done, though, as Teutopolis pitcher Louis Niemerg retired the side in each of the final two innings and Windsor/Stew-Stras couldn’t recover from giving up six runs with two outs in the third.
“I thought we’d get out of it in better shape than what it looked like,” Windsor/Stew-Stras head coach Mike Taylor said. “When you get behind (in pitch counts), they’re going to smoke the ball all over the place.”
The first three Teutopolis batters reached base to start the third inning, while Windsor/Stew-Stras starter Bryce Bugger pitched in a 3-3 game.
Darren Probst doubled to drive in Reed Hardiek and take the lead, 4-3, before Goldstein and Cody Will each hit RBI singles; however, Goldstein was thrown out in a pickle, during a hit-and-run attempt, for the second out of the inning with Justin Kenter at the plate.
“I gambled, thinking we might be able to do a hit-and-run action,” Teutopolis head coach Justin Fleener said. “I think Alex jumped early and had to start from dead feet, tried to run again, and they caught us on that one.”
Taylor said he thought his team would get out of the inning having only given up three runs, after tagging Goldstein out, but his pitchers couldn’t get ahead of a good hitting team.
Kenter walked and later scored, as he and the next three batters all came around to score in the inning that ended with nine runs on eight hits.
“Our bats went with a little bit different approach at the plate – a little more aggressive,” Fleener said of the third inning. “That big inning was the difference in the ball game.”
Wenthe’s grand slam was the cherry on top of the third inning, while Teutopolis won it in the bottom of the fifth inning on a bases-loaded walk by Jacob Roepke that scored Kyle Smith.
Wenthe continues to see the ball well this season, Fleener said, going 3-for-3 in the game with two singles and a grand slam.
“He’s always adjusting to what guys are throwing him at the plate,” Fleener said. “They make an adjustment and he makes an adjustment.”
In Tuesday’s game against Neoga, Wenthe hit a home run and a double to complete a two-RBI night, and has now hit a home run on back-to-back days.
“I’ve been swinging the bat pretty well, not really swinging for the fences but just trying to make good contact with the ball,” Wenthe said. “It’s working for me.”
Teutopolis improves to 16-2 this season, while Niemerg picked up the win on the mound, pitching a complete game, and will be back in action today at Altamont. Windsor/Stew-Stras is now 10-5 and will play Neoga on Friday.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Windsor/Stew-Stras 021 00 3 6 2
Teutopolis 039 01 13 14 1
WP: Niemerg (5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K), LP: Bugger (2.2 IP, 9 H, 10 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 1 K)
Windsor/Stew-Stras: Helmuth (2-2, 2 1B, BB); Allen (1-3, 1B, RBI, SB); Ohnesorge (1-2, 1B, RBI); Bugger (1-3); Moschenrose (1-2, R)
Teutopolils: Kenter (1-2, BB); Niemerg (1-2, 1B, BB); Will (2-2, 2 1B, RBI); Wenthe (3-3, HR, 1B, 4 RBI); Ungrund (1-2, RBI); Goldstein (1-3, 1B, BB, RBI); Probst (2-3, 2B, 1B, RBI); Roepke (0-0 BB, RBI); Repking (1-1); K. Smith (1-1, R); Flach (1-2, 2 R, BB)