Teutopolis Post 924 fell behind after two Vandalia Post 95 home runs, and even with one of their own, Teutopolis never came all the way back and fell 8-4 to Vandalia Wednesday night at the District 23 tournament.
Vandalia had beaten Robinson Post 69 13-6 earlier in the day, ending Robinson’s season, and did the same to Teutopolis in their second game of the day. Teutopolis had beaten Vandalia 6-4 Sunday night.
It was a tight run for Teutopolis throughout, playing close games until the final innings Wednesday night, but they fell short in the end. The post committed seven errors, including three in a big eighth inning where Vandalia tacked on three runs to take control.
“At the end, that’s what it came down to: the errors,” said Teutopolis coach Randy Mette. “Like I told Jordan Thoele, they’re part of the game. Win by it, lose by it, whatever it is, we’ve got to make the plays.”
Teutopolis got out on top first, breaking a scoreless tie in the third. Tommy Flach continued his big tournament, leading off with a double and taking third on a wild pitch. Jordan Bloemer hit a tapper back toward the mound that scored Flach, and Vandalia pitcher Jacob Behrends had no play at first with no one covering.
But Vandalia’s big bats came right back. Johnnie Clift led off with a single, Kyle Bray doubled him with a deep fly to right field, and Noah Powless made it 3-1 with a towering home run to left field off Teutopolis’ starter Thoele.
Even before Vandalia took the lead, Teutopolis had chances. Bloemer was thrown out at home on a Jacob Roepke single in the third, and then Post 924 left the bases loaded. In the fourth, runners were left on second and third, and Roepke was stranded on third in the fifth inning.
“Replay of last night, basically what it was,” Mette said. “That two-out hit, we looked for it last night and it never came, and just again tonight.”
Thoele got through Bray and Powless in the fifth, but with two outs, it was Connor Beasley who struck with a solo shot to left, extending Vandalia’s lead to 4-1.
The long balls continued in the top of the sixth, with Andy Borries connecting on an opposite-field homer to left, scoring both himself and Kyle Smith and cutting the lead to one, 4-3.
Sloppy play cost Teutopolis in the bottom of the sixth. Quin Wadkins reached on a dropped third strike and advanced to second on a bad pickoff attempt by catcher Tyler Westendorf. A bunt moved Wadkins to third, and then Austin Schwarm hit a long fly ball to center. Flach had a beat on it, but it hit his glove for an error and pushed the score to 5-3.
Post 924 kept battling and cut the lead by one in the seventh. A two-out error on a Thoele grounder kept the inning alive, and Brock Mette scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-4.
Vandalia put the final nail in in the eighth, scoring three on a two-run single by Bray and a sacrifice fly by Powless.
Behrends went the distance, pitching all nine innings and allowing four runs (three earned), while striking out 10. Thoele took the loss, allowing seven runs (five earned) on six hits and five walks, while striking out eight.
“Jordan hasn’t thrown much, he threw one game down at Olney and threw a heck of a game down there,” Mette said. “He gave it every bit he could, good effort by Jordan.”
Roepke was 2-for-4 on the day with a walk, Borries was 1-for-4 with the two-run home run, while Kyle Smith and Flach each had a hit and a run.
Vandalia needs to win two to win the district, facing Olney Post 30 today at 5 p.m. If Olney wins, the tournament is over, but Vandalia can force a final game Friday afternoon.
Teutopolis Post 924 001 002 100 4 7 7
Vandalia Post 95 003 011 03X 8 8 1
WP - Behrends (9 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 10 K, 5 BB) LP - Thoele (7 IP, 6 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 8 K, 1 BB)
Teutopolis: Roepke (2-4, BB, SB); D. Smith (0-4, HBP); Mette (1-3, R, 2 BB); Westendorf (0-2, 2 BB, SB); K. Smith (1-3, R, BB); Flach (1-4, 2B, R, SB); Borries (1-4, HR, 2 RBI, R); Bloemer (1-4, RBI, SB)
Vandalia: Schwarm (0-5, R); Clift (2-5, 2 R); Bray (2-4, 2B, 3 RBI, R, BB); Powless (1-4, HR, 3 RBI, R); Beasley (1-4, HR, RBI, R, BB); Crisman (1-5); Wadkins (1-5, R, SB); Ratermann (0-3, BB); Trexler (0-1, 2 BB, R)