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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Comeback win keeps Post 20 alive in 10-7 win
Newton Post 120 didn’t let a 4-1 deficit get to them against Highland Post 439, using a patient approach in the face of an elimination game.
Three bases-loaded walks in the bottom of the third tied the game at 4-4, and with the bases loaded down 5-4 in the fourth, Tim Weber broke the game open with a two-run double and an error.
By the time the dust settled, Newton led 10-5 heading to the sixth inning and would hold on to a 10-7 win to keep its season alive.
Salem deals Newton first divisional loss
Mitch Bierman started off Newton Post 20’s game against Salem Post 128 with a bang Sunday afternoon, hitting a leadoff triple and scoring on the next batter.
Post 20’s offense didn’t follow his lead from there, as Newton had just three more hits and no runs, and falling in a Junior Legion Fifth Division winner’s bracket game to Salem 12-1 in seven innings.
Newton Post 20 bests Belleville Post 58 in opener 6-1
After a 9-3 loss to Breese Post 252 Gray Monday night, Newton Post 20 coach John Grunloh predicted the five-day break until the Junior Legion Fifth Division tournament would be good for his players, especially his pitchers.Mitch Jansen proved his coach right, spinning a gem in Newton's opener Saturday afternoon as Post 20 made short work of Belleville Post 58 6-1.
Hearts to prep with Mattoon 7-on-7
Two weeks ago, Effingham was supposed to start shaking off the rust with a 7-on-7 football tournament in Mattoon. Naturally, it rained and was canceled.
So Saturday, the Flaming Hearts will head up to Mattoon and play their first 7-on-7 event of the season, taking part in an 10- team field with Mattoon, Rochester, Robinson, Marshall, Cahokia and Pleasant Plains from Illinois, with Terre Haute North and Northview coming from Indiana. Rochester is bringing two squads.
Newton Post 20 plays Belleville Saturday
With the District 23 tournament behind them, Newton Post 20 now knows its fate for the Fifth Division Junior Legion tournament this weekend in Bethalto.
Newton will play Belleville Post 58 at 2:45 p.m. Saturday afternoon in Bethalto, in the third game of six on the day.
Effingham's season comes to a close with 11-1 loss to Salem
A 1-0 lead for Effingham Post 120 rapidly evaporated, and the post’s Junior Legion season came to an end with a 11-1 loss in five innings to Salem Post 128 Tuesday night.
The game was for the final spot of District 23 in the divisional tournament, with Newton Post 20 and Breese Post 252 Gray punching their tickets by winning their district divisions.
Newton Post 20 falls short against Breese Gray 9-3
While the District 23 title ultimately exceeded Newton Post 20’s grasp, their season will continue in Bethalto.
Newton took on Breese Post 252 Gray for the Junior Legion District 23 title as the two division winners, but Breese’s bats proved too much for Newton in an 9-3 loss for Post 20.
“The innings where they put some runs on us, we gave them some extra outs,” said Newton coach John Grunloh. “You’ve got to make the plays when you play better teams.”
Barnes' one-hitter boosts Post 120; Effingham beats Dieterich 1-0
Ryan Barnes hasn’t seen a lot of time with Effingham Post 120’s junior legion team this season, but he showed up in a big way Monday night in a 1-0 win over Dieterich Post 628.
The win kept Effingham’s season alive one more day in the Junior Legion District 23 tournament, as the post will face Salem Post 128 at 5:30 p.m. today for the district’s final spot in the divisional round. Salem Post 128 downed Mt. Vernon Post 141 1-0 in the West Division loser’s bracket, setting up the final with Effingham today.
Newton Post 20 tops Effingham Post 120 7-5 late
Most of the games at the Junior Legion District 23 tournament have seen pitching take control, but the pitchers in Sunday night's Effingham Post 120/Newton Post 20 game faced an uphill battle.
While Brock Mammoser started the game for Post 20 on the hill and struggled, he came through with the biggest hit in the game, putting Newton up for good in a 7-5 win over Effingham.
Dieterich Post 628 eliminates Teutopolis Post 924 3-2
Errors proved to be Teutpolis Post 924's undoing against Dieterich Post 628, as Dieterich's sixth-inning rally in an 3-2 win were boosted by three Teutopolis errors
To lead off the sixth, Trenton Poe reached on an error by Brock Bueker, and came around to score on an infield single by Ryan Radloff with a throwing error on Bueker. Poe was already on third when the ball went in the Teutopolis dugout, awarding Poe home to tie the game.
Bryce McClain followed with an RBI single to score Radloff and put Post 628 up for good. Dieterich scored again on a Briar Schmidt groundout where first baseman Brant Bueker tried to get an inning-ending out at second, but the throw was wild and brought home McClain.
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