Zach Gardewine gripped the game ball tightly in his right hand and smiled.
It’s not every day a pitcher shuts out the loaded Teutopolis lineup and he knew it. Gardewine became the first player to blank the Wooden Shoes, in St. Anthony’s 1-0 win on Tuesday, since Dieterich duo Tanner Traub and Jake Bohnhoff on March 22, 2013.
The Shoes (12-3) have beat teams by an average of 7-1/2 runs in their 12 wins this season, but didn’t have an answer for Gardewine, who can’t remember the last time St. Anthony beat the Shoes.
“We haven’t beat T-Town in forever,” Gardewine said. “It feels great.”
Gardewine gave up six hits in seven innings, facing no more than five batters in one frame, and got the better result against Teutopolis starter Darren Probst, who also pitched a gem — only allowing three hits.
Gardewine pitched to contact, ending the night without a strikeout, but not the contact the Shoes wanted.
“They can throw the whole lineup at you,” Gardewine said. “I kept telling myself to keep the ball low. I threw the ball where I wanted it and (the defense) made the plays.”
One of the defense’s biggest plays started in front of him, when St. Anthony catcher Eli Dasenbrock threw out Teutopolis’ Justin Kenter on an attempted steal, for the second out of the seventh inning.
Gardewine said the play settled him down to refocus on making the last out of the game, as the Shoes attempted to comeback from a one-run deficit.
Kenter singled and became the tying run at first base. Teutopolis head coach Justin Fleener said Kenter saw a pitch in the dirt and made an aggressive move.
“He knew we needed to get a runner in scoring position,” Fleener said. “That’s what we’re looking for out of some guys, but it didn’t happen there.”
Cody Will singled a few pitches later, but Tommy Flach lined out to St. Anthony third baseman Ethan Greene, who made yet another tough play for his pitcher, to end the game.
“I try not to walk batters,” Gardewine said. “I try to throw strikes and see where the ball lies. (The defense) made all the plays and that’s all a pitcher can ask for.”
Probst, who retired the side in each of the last three innings, was potentially one play short of taking the pitching duel into extra innings.
St. Anthony’s Braden Puckett led off the second inning with a single and stole second base. Bryar Jansen grounded into the second out of the inning, but moved Puckett to third.
Drew Gibson hit a slow roller through the infield grass, but Will at shortstop couldn’t get it off the ground. Gibson reached and Puckett scored the Bulldogs’ only run of the game.
“Against a pitcher like that, that’s how you have to score a run,” St. Anthony head coach Kenny Koenig said.
The early run turned out to be the only one St. Anthony (7-8) needed with the pitching performance it got from Gardewine, who pitched the last inning of the Bulldogs’ win against Altamont on Monday.
“How about that kid,” Koenig said. “We talked about having that bulldog attitude on the mound and he had it today. That was one of the better pitching performances I’ve seen in a long time.”
On Monday, Koenig said he told Gardewine he needed to throw fewer than 10 pitches in the seventh inning against Altamont to start on Tuesday.
He threw eight.
Teutopolis biggest threat came in the sixth. Bobby Wenthe and Reed Hardiek stood on first and second base with one out, but Gardewine retired Probst and Alex Goldstein back-to-back to get out of the jam.
“The law of averages kind of balanced out on us,” Fleener said. “We found their defenders.
They put a guy on third base and we just didn’t make that final out like we needed to.”
St. Anthony plays for the third consecutive day at 4:30 p.m. today, hosting Charleston. Teutopolis turns around and plays a 4 p.m. game on Friday against Mt. Zion.
Alex McNamee can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 123, or email@example.com.
Teutopolis 000 000 0 0 6 1
St. Anthony 010 000 X 1 3 0
WP - Gardewine (7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB) LP - Probst (6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 6 K, 1 BB)
Teutopolis: Hardiek (1B), Wenthe (BB), Goldstein (1B), Kenter (2 1B), Will (2 1B)
St. Anthony: Williams (1B), Lorenz (1B), Bushur (BB), Puckett (1B, SB, R), Gibson (RBI)
Zach Gardewine gripped the game ball tightly in his right hand and smiled.
Czachorski: Lunt the right man at QB
There haven't been many times I've put pen to paper — or I guess more fittingly finger to keyboard — and written about the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Part of it is due to their football team's struggles, as it's hard to have an opinion on them outside of "man, they went 1-7 in the Big 10 last year" or "I remember that one time they went to the Rose Bowl, but that's about it." Part of it is staying in my wheelhouse, which is MAC football and my alma mater Central Michigan Chippewas, a topic that doesn't concern many, if any, around here.
Neoga prepares for upcoming volleyball season
Another area team finds themselves with a new coach holding the clipboard this season.
Susan Hutchinson is the new volleyball coach for the Neoga Indians, but she isn't new to the game of volleyball. Hutchinson coached at Mattoon for seven years when they were still in the Big 12 Conference. She said her new players had to get used to her coaching style very quickly.
Bulldogs fifth at ISU
St. Anthony took to the links for the second-straight day and had a strong showing at the Raider/Redbird Classic.
The Bulldogs finished fifth among a 20-team field, shooting a 318. East Peoria shot a 312 to win it, Normal U-High and Lincoln each shot 315s with Normal winning the tie-breaker, and Bloomington took fourth with a 317.
St. Anthony will lead with speed
For the last five years, Eric Morales has been the assistant coach of the St. Anthony Bulldogs soccer team. But this season he will have his chance at the helm and try to help lead the Bulldogs to their first regional title since 2010.
St. Anthony is missing six seniors from last years team, including its leading goal scorer and starting goalie.
Flaming Hearts win St. Anthony Invitational
The Flaming Hearts of Effingham were the overall winners and also had the medalist. Effingham shot a team score of 312 to beat the host Bulldogs by nine shots. Hearts senior Jackson Wendling finished with a 72 to take medalist honors.
Teutopolis takes opener against St. Thomas More
Teutopolis took the course with a new coach and four players, but as coach Becky Probst said, it takes four to score.
And those four Lady Shoes took their first match of the year, topping Champaign St. Thomas More 216-227 in both teams' openers at Cardinal Golf Course in Effingham.
Time to tee off, golf season starts fall sports campaign today
The fall sports campaign kicks off in earnest Monday afternoon, with the first area varsity contests being held in Windsor and Effingham this afternoon.
The St. Anthony Invitational boys golf tournament will be held at Fox Prairie Golf Course at 1 p.m. in Windsor, while the Teutopolis Lady Shoes host St. Thomas More at Cardinal Golf Course at 4 p.m.
Flaming Hearts' flexibility a plus; Effingham prepping for upcoming soccer season
Three days into the practice season, Effingham soccer coach Aaron Witges sees a lot of flexibility.
It was something his squad had last year, with 10 seniors but young players forcing their way into the lineup as well.
Coming off a 10-8-3 season, some of those young players will find themselves in new positions for the Flaming Hearts this season.
Flaming Hearts set with new coach
The Effingham Flaming Hearts volleyball team will have a new but familiar face leading them on the sideline this season.
As a former player for the Hearts, coach Mindy McCollum-Boswell will look to lead her team to their first regional title since 2008.
Czachorski: Bears backups worrisome
This might sound shockingly similar to a number of columns I've written in the past, but it bears repeating (excusing a terrible pun).
The quarterback situation is worrisome.
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