TEUTOPOLIS – Altamont couldn't find a clutch at-bat anywhere in game one, but they weren't looking in the Teutopolis dugout, which produced a number of run-scoring base hits during Tuesday's doubleheader opener.
Altamont left four runners on base during the third and fourth innings, after senior Garrett Ziegler drove in the team's only run of the game, but Teutopolis used the fifth and sixth innings to score five runs en route to its 7-1 win in the first game of the doubleheader.
Trailing 2-0 in the third inning, Altamont junior Brady Winn started a two-out rally with a single and Ziegler drove him in two batters later. Senior Aaron Goeckner grounded out to the pitcher, leaving two men on base.
Altamont continued to hit Teutopolis junior pitcher Louis Niemerg into the fourth inning as sophomore Klaiton Wolff walked and senior Trevor Cornett singled to start the inning.
Sophomore Nick Miller hit a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, setting up a suicide squeeze attempt that didn't go as planned.
Junior Jacob Miller popped up his bunt attempt to Teutopolis senior Darren Probst for an out. At third base, Wolff was halfway down the baseline before he realized he needed to tag up, so Probst started and finished a double play that ended the inning.
“We're struggling with trying to find that big hit,” Altamont head coach Mike Dokey said. “When you're in a situation where you can score (a run), you gotta score it. We just didn't execute.”
At least it looked like the Altamont batters had picked up on what Neimerg was doing on the mound, which Dokey said was throwing early fastballs to get ahead in counts.
Niemerg retired seven of the first eight batters he faced, which Dokey said was because his hitters were being too patient at the plate.
“We were going up there taking way too many pitches, getting behind in the count,” Dokey said. “It's hard to hit when you take one swing.”
Teutopolis hit a dry spell after leaving three men on base in the third inning, as Ziegler retired the next five batters; however, the sixth inning started with a triple by senior Bobby Wenthe and Teutopolis built a lead.
Probst hit an RBI double and then was driven in by senior Justin Kenter, who hit a single that brought in two runs.
Teutopolis scored two runs with two outs in the sixth inning to cap off their 7-1 win, led by Probst's two-RBI night.
Ziegler, who kept Altamont in the game, gave up five runs in the final two innings and took the loss. He gave up seven hits in six innings of work, while striking out five batters.
Teutopolis head coach Justin Fleener said his team did a good job adjusting to what Ziegler was throwing its way.
“Our guys knew how to adjust and we adjusted well enough in this game to get guys in scoring positions,” Fleener said.
Niemerg struck out five in his six innings of work, while senior Andy Borries entered the game in the seventh to close out the game.
There is still room for improvement, Fleener said, as Altamont won the second game of the doubleheader, 2-1.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or at email@example.com.
Altamont 001 000 0 1 5 2Teutopolis 020 032 - 7 10 1
WP - Niemerg LP - ZieglerTeutopolis: 2B: Probst, Goldstein 3B: Wenthe SF: Niemerg SB: Flach, Hardiek, Probst, Will 2, Kenter Altamont: SAC: Miller SB: Ziegler CS: Borders
Altamont 000 002 0 2 4 2Teutopolis 001 000 0 1 7 0
WP - C. Miller LP - SmithAltamont: SF: Armstrong SB: Miller, Armstrong 2 Teutopolis: HBP: Johnson 2B: Thoele SB: Bloemer, Roepke