Altamont Post 512 never got the bats going, falling to Vandalia Post 95 5-2 in their Junior Legion District 23 tournament opener Thursday night.
Altamont, coming off a trip to the state tournament last summer, was upset by Vandalia and Zach Schaal. Post 512 was the second seed in the tournament, but Schaal was up to the challenge for seventh-seeded Vandalia.
He pitched a complete game, knocking Altamont to the loser’s bracket — where they battled their way out of at last year’s district tournament to make the divisional round. Altamont scored two runs late on an error by shortstop Matt Radamachier, but those were the post’s only runs.
The teams were deadlocked early, with Altamont’s Noah Flowers giving up a leadoff single to Vandalia’s Noah Murray before picking him off, and then Flowers didn’t allow a hit again until the fourth.
Schaal was sharp early as well, hitting Klaiton Wolff in the first and allowing a runner on via an error, but he didn’t give up a hit until a leadoff infield single by Altamont’s Kaleb Whitt in the third. Whitt reached third and Wolff was on first with two outs in the third, but Schaal got out of it.
Vandalia got to Flowers in the fourth. Murray led off with a single, and then Austin Hoehn walked. With one out, Schaal hit a blooper down the right field line, scoring Murray on a double to go up 1-0.
It looked like Altamont would tie it in the fourth on a two-out single by Thomas Caravello, but Ryne Dangbar threw out Austin Rexroad at the plate despite a slide that initially avoided the tag.
The breaks wouldn’t come from there. With two on and two out after an error, Devon Guerrettaz’s grounder hit Caden Miller on his way to third, ending the inning.
Flowers departed with one out in the top of the sixth after walking back-to-back batters, with Rexroad coming in in relief. He walked Schaal, and then Mike Sloan lifted a flyball that was dropped by Brandon Runge that allowed two runs to score.
Rexroad walked the bases loaded in the seventh before being pulled for Runge. He threw a wild pitch on his first pitch of the game, allowing Kendall Clovin to score, and another wild pitch brought home Matt Radamachier.
Vandalia appeared to score again on a sacrifice fly to left by Schaal, but Murray left early and was doubled up on the tag.
Caravello, Guerrettaz and Whitt had Altamont’s only hits in the game, with Nick Miller and Whitt scoring.
Flowers took the loss, allowing three runs on three hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Altamont plays the loser of today’s Newton/Robinson game at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, while Vandalia plays the winner of that game at 5:30 p.m.
Vandalia Post 95 000 102 2 5 3 5
Altamont Post 512 000 000 2 2 3 1
WP - Schaal (7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 6 K, 2 BB) LP - Flowers (5.1, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 K, 3 BB)
Vandalia: Murray (2-3, R, BB); Hoehn (0-2, 2 BB); Dangbar (0-2, 2 BB); Schaal (1-3, 2B, RBI, BB); Sloan (0-2, RBI); Clovin (0-2, BB, R); Radamachier (0-2, BB, R)
Altamont: N. Miller, (0-4, R); C. Miller (0-3, HBP); Wolff (0-2, BB, HBP); Guerrettaz (1-4); Carevello (1-2, BB); Whitt (1-2, R)