The Teutopolis Wooden Shoes handed the Effingham Flaming Hearts their first loss of the season Monday, winning 7-2.
Wooden Shoes pitcher Dawson Smith got into a rut in the start of the game. Tanner Gordon singled, Kendall Ballman walked and so did Cooper Jackson. Head coach of the Wooden Shoes Justin Fleener came to the mound, calmed Smith down and the next three Flaming Hearts batters went down in order.
"I felt pretty good coming into it. Coach came out there and calmed me down and from there I was getting loose and there on I pitched better I thought," Smith said. "My rhythm was off I think for the most part. I wasn't busting the knees I was trying to overthrow, I was leaving the ball high and after I settled down it was all good."
"He seemed a little shaky there at first," Justin Fleener said. "I just told him 'relax, calm down, make your pitches and trust your defense.' He still has some things to work out with this being his second time but I think that will come."
For the Wooden Shoes, the first batter of the game Tyler Runde hit a home run to left field and the ball landed on Main Street in Teutopolis. It was Runde's first ever home run he has ever hit and Runde said that it felt pretty good to hit it.
"I was looking for a pitch to drive and [it] felt good off the bat. I was surprised," Runde said.
"Tyler [Runde] starting out the ballgame was big," Justin Fleener said. "For him to come in and I think take a 2-2 pitch and get all out it. He hit it hard."
"The bases loaded, nobody out took the wind out of ourselves," head coach of the Flaming Hearts Chris Fleener said. "The solo home run didn't help us and really helped them as far as the momentum going their way."
Trenton Schwerdt knocked two runs in in the bottom of the third inning with a double off the right field wall. Then in the next inning, the Wooden Shoes added two more runs. Mitch Hemmen singled to left field and Smith bunted him over and made it to second base on the throwing error to first. Evan Addis singled passed the Flaming Hearts second baseman to score SMith and Hemmen. The Wooden Shoes led 5-0 after four.
"We just put ourselves in positions in innings we actually came through at the time when runners in scoring position," Justin Fleener said. "Trenton [Schwerdt] came up and had a big hit with a couple guys on and that made it three. Once again we had guys on second, third later on in the ballgame and someone came in with the big hit. It's what we got to have, we're going to have to have guys to be able to come up with the big hit whenever we need it."
The Wooden Shoes added two more runs in the fifth inning with Smith driving in those runs on a single up the middle. The Flaming Hearts got their first run across the board in the top of the sixth when Parker Wolfe singled in Brayton Poland. They added another one in the top of the seventh on an RBI on a Poland single to left.
Dawson Smith went 5 2/3 innings and gave up only two hits and had eight strikeouts.
"We haven't seen a pitcher throw that hard this year," Chris Fleener said. "That is the hardest pitcher we've seen this year throw the ball and our boys didn't adjust as well as what we had hoped they would have. Dawson [Smith] did what he had to do and got in a jam the first inning and came back and he threw strikes. I thought for our offensive standpoint, we watched a lot of fastballs go down the middle today. We took a lot of strikes and I think we need to be a little more aggressive when it comes to the offensive side."
"I think I threw maybe a total of maybe 10 off speed pitches," Smith said. "I was just trying to work my fast ball until they started hitting it and that was working pretty good for me."
EFFN: 000 001 1 2 4 1
TPLS: 102 220 x 7 6 2
Effingham; Tanner Gordon (1-4), Kendall Ballman (0-3, BB), Cooper Jackson (1-3, BB), Brayton Poland (1-3, R, RBI), Zach Lee (0-4), Jackson Lee (0-3), Parker Wolfe (1-3, RBI), Kollin Waymoth (0-2), Nick Bishop (0-2), Jack Blickem (BB), Cameron Kalber (R)
Teutopolis: Tyler Runde (1-2, HR, R, RBI), Luke Ungrund (1-3, 2 R), Trenton Schwerdt (1-2, 2B, R, 2 RBI), Clint Weber (0-3), Mitch Hardiek (0-2, BB), Mitch Hemmen (1-3, R), Dawson Smith (1-3, R, 2 RBI), Evan Addis (1-3, R, 2 RBI), Brady McMahon (0-2, BB)