Caleb Chesnut’s seventh-inning home run put Olney Post 30 up for good, proving to be the winning margin in a slim 2-1 win over Teutopolis Post 924 Tuesday night.
Chesnut’s homer came with two outs in the seventh down the left-field line, one batter after Trystin Runyon had hit a long fly ball to center that had been tracked down by Tommy Flach.
Post 924 now plays tonight at 7 p.m., facing the winner of the Robinson Post 69 vs. Vandalia Post 95 game in the loser’s bracket. Teutopolis’ season will be on the line against a team that they already beat in this tournament, as they topped both teams Sunday.
Runyon made his mark on the mound, going the distance for Olney while allowing just one unearned run and striking out 10. Teutopolis had runners on most of the game but couldn’t bring them home in key moments.
“He threw a whale of a game, he had a good breaking ball and mixed it in all counts,” said Teutopolis coach Randy Mette. “We had every chance to get there, credit their defense. All they had to do was bobble one, we had another guy get on, get in, and it could have swung our way. We win a lot of games that way, and we didn’t happen to pull this one out tonight.”
After pitching in and out of trouble for the first six innings, Runyon locked in, retiring the last nine batters to complete the win.
Teutopolis’ run of good pitching at the tournament continued early, as Kyle Smith joined in on the Post 924 fun. He didn’t allow a hit through the first four innings. Olney had runners in scoring position in the second and third, but Smith pitched out of it.
Flach opened up the scoring for Post 924, singling with one out in the fourth, stealing second and advancing to third on a passed ball. Runyon looked like he’d pitched out of trouble, striking out Jordan Bloemer, but the ball got by Olney catcher Ryan Seed. Bloemer beat the throw to first, allowing Flach to score.
Smith continued to live dangerously in the fifth. Seed reached on an error but was caught stealing, then another error and a walk put two on. A Runyon groundout moved them to second and third, but Smith gotChesnut to ground out to second, keeping the 1-0 and the no-hitter alive.
A hit by Flach and a two-out double by Bloemer put a rally together in the top of the sixth, but Jacob Roepke struck out to end the inning.
He’d replace Smith on the mound in the bottom half after Smith threw 104 pitches. Peyton Billington broke up the no-hitter with one out, then Seed hit a two-out single with two on to tie the score at 1-1. Roepke got out of the inning without further damage.
He gave up the go-ahead homer to Chesnut, but Mette didn’t blame any of his pitchers — Smith, Roepke or Matt Koester.
“Kyle pitched a heck of a game, and he was at his pitch count limit,” Randy Mette said. “It was probably a momentum-changer in their dugout, because once they knew Kyle was coming out, their outlook changed. Jake threw fine. We could have scored two runs too.”
Flach was the offensive standout, going 3-for-4 with a double, a run and a steal on the day. Bloemer was 1-for-3 with a double and a stolen base, Brock Mette was 1-for-4 with a steal and Roepke was 1-for-5.
Now, Teutopolis has to fight through the loser’s bracket championship and win three games to be district champs.
But they’ll face a team on their second game of the day today, whether it be Robinson or Vandalia.
“We feel good,” Mette said. “We’ve still got pitching. We’ll be fine.”
Teutopolis Post 924 000 100 000 1 6 3
Olney Post 30 000 001 10X 2 5 2
WP - Runyon (9 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 10 K, 2 BB) LP - Roepke (2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 K, 0 BB)
Teutopolis: Roepke (1-5); D. Smith (0-3, BB); Mette (1-4, 2 SB); Thoele (0-4, 2 SB); Flach (3-4, 2B, R, SB); Bloemer (1-3, 2B, BB, SB)
Olney: Runyon (0-3, BB, SB); Chesnut (1-3, HR, RBI, R, BB); Zuber (1-4); Billington (1-3, R, BB); Kocher (1-4); Seed (1-4, RBI, SB); Taylor (0-1, BB)