By RYAN CZACHORSKI
---- — OLNEY -- Effingham senior Devin Mayfield made a promise to his fellow senior teammate Austin Webb Monday.
Webb's grandmother recently died, and he had to miss the game to attend the visitation services. Mayfield told his teammate he'd do all he could to make sure Webb to not miss the final game of the season and suit up for the game Wednesday.
It's doubtful Mayfield knew it would take 12 innings of pitching on the mound and the game-winning RBI, but a promise is a promise.
Mayfield was the star, as he tossed a complete game as Effingham topped Olney 4-2 in 12 innings. He allowed eight hits and two unearned runs in 12 innings, while striking out eight.
"(Austin Webb's) grandma died, I told him I was going to pitch for his grandma today," Mayfield said. "I didn't want it to be his last game."
Effingham coach Chris Fleener summed up the effort for his team in the regional play-in game.
"Won it for Webby," he said. "(Mayfield gave) a very, very gutsy performance. It's up there with some of the top performances that I've seen as far as the Effingham Hearts go."
Olney took a 2-0 lead after the first inning as Mayfield labored, and it could have been worse. The inning ended when Kennan Mahaffey caught a short fly ball in left and threw Ryan Bailey out at the plate to end the inning.
Effingham cut the lead to one in the second on a Trenton Frey RBI single, and tied it in the fourth on a Frey RBI double. After struggling in the first, Mayfield ran in to trouble again in the third, but a key double play in the third ended the inning by Braydon Bone, Adam Koester and Frey.
It took one more double play for Mayfield to start cruising. He allowed the leadoff man, Dallas Peck to reach on a single. A bunt by James Bailey turned into a double play, when Carter Hayes got Bailey at first and turned a double play when Peck got caught in between Mayfield and Bone.
Starting with those two outs, Mayfield recorded 19 straight outs, not allowing another Tiger to reach until the 11th inning.
"I just tried to throw strikes and get ahead, use offspeed," Mayfield said. "I'm not the hardest thrower, but I hit my spots and let my defense play behind me."
Both James and Ryan Bailey reached in the 11th on back-to-back one out singles, but Mayfield continued to battle, forcing a fielder's choice at third and a pop out to end the inning.
Effingham came out firing in the 12th, Drew Levitt led off with a single and had an opportunity to score on a Hayes double to center. But Levitt was gunned at the plate, potentially halting the Hearts' momentum.
"I was sending him all the way," Fleener said. "I gambled, we gambled on them hitting the cut off man. I was counting on a bad throw."
Dirk Levitt followed it up with a single, putting runners at first and third. They walked Frey, leaving Mayfield with the bases loaded. He came through, lifting a sacrifice fly to center to give Effingham its first lead.
"Every time we got a runner in scoring position, we lined out," Mayfield said. "We hit the ball good, we finally just got one to drop."
The Flaming Hearts tacked on some insurance with an RBI single by Koester, who started the game as the designated player with Nathan Vail hitting for him. He came in in the 11th to bat, and added two big hits.
"We started out hitting for him," Fleener said. "We thought we had to mix something up. Actually, we put him in to maybe put a bunt down, but the situation never came up. It worked better for him to hit the ball."
Effingham (17-13) advances to the regional semifinal at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, where they'll face Apollo Conference foe Salem.
The two teams split a doubleheader this past Wednesday, with Effingham winning game one 3-1 in nine innings and losing game two 2-1.
Webb will be back, as he and the Hearts try to make sure he gets another game in the Effingham uniform.
Effingham 001 100 000 002 4 15 1
Olney 200 000 000 000 3 8 4
WP - Mayfield LP - Zuber
Effingham: Mayfield (12 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 8 K; SF, RBI) Di. Levitt (3 1B, 3 R); Frey (1B, 2B, 2 RBI); Mahaffey (1B); Dr. Levitt (2 1B); Carie (2 1B); Hayes (1B, 2B, R); Koester (2 1B, RBI)