The Teutopolis Wooden Shoes used great pitching from Trenton Schwerdt and a late-inning home run be Luke Ungrund to help defeat the Cumberland Pirates 6-2 Tuesday.
"It feels real good to get that first win out of the way," said Teutopolis head coach Justin Fleener. "We've tried three times at it before. It's early. We're still trying to get guys' timing on. We're still trying to get guys arms in shape and get things all lined up to where they should be.
"But the bottom line is the kids and myself wanted to get in the win column. it was nice to get the W."
Early on, the game had all of the makings of a pitchers duel, with Schwerdt and Cumberland starter Brennyn Cutts. Schwerdt struck out the first six batters he faced and eight of his first nine, while Cutts struck out the side in the first.
In the bottom of the second, the Shoes were able to start the inning with back-to-back base hits from Clint Weber and Mitch Hardiek. They were both able to advance into scoring position on a wild pitch, and second wild pitch allowed Weber to score to take a 1-0 lead.
After Dawson Smith was hit by a pitch and Evan Wermert walked, Brady McMahon singled to score Hardiek and take a 2-0 lead.
"I saw some at-bats today when runners are in scoring position where we came through," Fleener said. "We continued to put the ball in play and put pressure upon them and were able to get a couple of runs across for our starting pitcher."
The score remained the same until the top of the fifth, when Cumberland's Justin Brown hit a solo home run to cut the deficit in half at 2-1.
In the bottom of the fifth, Weber singled with two outs and was able to get to third on a wild pitch. A dropped third strike to the backstop allowed Weber to score to take a 3-1 lead.
The Pirates were able to cross a run in the top of the sixth when Michael Flier and Reid Mathenia hit back-to-back singles to put two on with one out. Brennyn Cutts next grounded into a fielder's choice, with the throw to first being too late for a double play. With Flier attempting to advance to third, the Wooden Shoes committed a throwing error that allowed him to score to make it a 3-2 game headed to the bottom of the sixth.
After coming in for relied in the sixth, Andy Niebrugge led off the bottom half of the inning with a single. Evan Addis courtesy-ran for Niebrugge and stole second base. However, no Pirates infielder covered second on the steal, allowing the throw to go into center field and got passed the center fielder, allowing Niebrugge to get to third. He then came in to score on a base hit from Tyler Runde to take a 4-2 lead.
With a runner still aboard and looking to add some insurance, the Wooden Shoes looked to Luke Ungrund. Ungrund drove a ball far down the left field line, but went just foul. Two pitches later, Ungrund was able to keep it fair for a 2-run home run to put the Shoes up 6-2.
The Pirates threatened in the top of the seventh however, needed four runs to extend the afternoon. With runners on first and second after back-to-back singles from Brown and Brayson Shew, but the Wooden Shoes were able to roll a double play to end the game and pick up their first win of the year.
The win improves the Wooden Shoes to 1-3.
Schwerdt earned the win on the mound, allowing two runs, one earned on four hits over 5 1/3 innings while walking just one and striking out 11. Niebrugge earned the save.
"I saw good pitching from Trenton out there on the mound," Fleener said. "He got through five innings, almost through the sixth. Andy came in today and had a good outing. Good things from Andy Niebrugge on the mound and at the plate."
Cumberland 000 011 0 2 6 3
Teutopolis 020 013 X 6 7 1
WP: Schwerdt (5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K) LP: Cutts (2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 K, 1 BB)
Cumberland: Flier (1-3, 1B, R); Mathenia (1-3, 1B); Brown (2-3, 1B, HR, RBI, R); Shew (2-2, 2 1B)
Teutopolis: Runde (1-4, 1B, RBI, R); Ungrund (1-4, HR, 2 RBI, R); Weber (1-4, 1B, 2 R); Hardiek (1-1, 1B, RBI, 2 BB); Hemmen (0-2, BB); Wermert (0-1, BB); Niebrugge (1-1, 1B); McMahon (2-3, 2 1B, RBI); Addis (R).