SAUGET — Carlyle starter Logan Zachry entered Monday's Sauget Super-Sectional with a 0.99 ERA. Teutopolis took the diamond at GCS Ballpark having scored 30 runs in its four postseason victories.
With a trip to the Class 2A state semifinals in Peoria on the line, something had to give.In the bottom of the fifth, the Wooden Shoes' offense emerged as the winner. Knotted at two runs apiece, Teutopolis (28-3) strung together a three-run frame, the final two off a souvenir shot to right field from Kyle Pruemer, to take the go-ahead lead and defeat the Indians 5-2 to avenge last year's loss in the same round of eight."They wanted to get back up there to state," Teutopolis coach Justin Fleener said. "We've got a great senior class that does a lot of leading, they can carry things for me, make things a lot easier."A trio of Wooden Shoes seniors delivered in the deciding inning. Jared Waldhoff, who had singled earlier in the game, laced a triple down the first base line to leadoff the inning with an extra-base hit. "I don't know if you'd call it perfect form," Waldhoff said of his rip to right. "It felt good to get a hit tonight, do what I can to help this team."Classmate Chase Wendling gave Teutopolis the lead when he sent a ground ball past the mound and into center field for the go-ahead single that scored Waldhoff, but the scoring wasn't finished just yet.Kyle Pruemer sent Teutopolis faithful into an uproar with his monstrous shot over the right-field wall to increase the lead to 5-2."How sweet is it for him to hit one out there," Fleener said. "This senior team has been part of some teams that have got close, and they were able to get us back. I'm really happy for them."The big victory was almost for naught, as the Wooden Shoes, who lost on the same field in last year's playoffs to Trenton Wesclin, had to endure a little extra time to think about the game at hand. Lightning and a torrential downpour forced the game to get underway a full two hours later than the original 5 p.m. start , giving coach Justin Fleener's squad some added down time. Yet the Teutopolis skipper said staying loose was never a problem."High school kids can do a pretty good job of that on their own," he said. "They're pretty relaxed, it's the adults who get more worried."The game, when it finally did start, was a fast-paced affair that lasted less than 90 minutes, and the Wooden Shoes looked plenty loose early. Teutopolis struck first in the bottom of inning one. After Waldhoff sent a grounder to first, Chase Wendling and Bobby Wenthe connected on back-to-back singles and Kyle Pruemer was hit by a pitch to load the bags with one out.Alex Goldstein executed a perfect sacrifice fly to right field, and the Wooden Shoes were on top 1-0 through one frame.Carlyle answered right back in the second. After the Indians used a dropped strikeout, walk and infield single to fill the bases, Logan Zimmerman ripped a huge two-RBI double to the gap in right center. The deep shot plated John Becker and Cody Huels, and Carlyle led 2-1.The Indians' lead was short-lived. Though the rain had vacated, the wind was still as unpredictable as ever, and Teutopolis capitalized on a Carlyle blunder in its next at-bat to even the score.