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The Freight is third at state tourney

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By Andrew Harner

The Freight once again came out of retirement and posted a strong finish at the Illinois Amateur Softball Association state wooden bat tournament by finishing third for the second straight year.

The two-time fast-pitch national champions based in Vandalia went 2-2 in the event from Aug. 2-4.

In game one, Bryan Hobbie had a home run and Alan Meinhart struck out five and allowed four hits in a complete game in a 2-1 win against the Pinckneyville Falcons.

Hobbie’s solo shot in the third was one of his three hits in the game, and Rich Well drove in the winning run in the fifth with a single.

It was Well’s turn to homer in game two, blasting a two-run shot in the third inning of a 3-0 win against Grobie Flooring of Altamont.

Meinhart was again strong from the pitcher’s circle, tossing another complete game, and striking out eight and allowing just three hits.

Vandalia took its first loss in game three, falling to the Blackhawk Athletic Club from Rockford, 2-1.

The Freight took the early lead on Nick Casey’s RBI double in the bottom of the first inning, but Rockford added single runs in the second and seventh innings.

The game ended on a standout defensive play by Rockford’s second baseman, who made a leaping catch on a line drive to strand a runner on third base.

In game four, Vandalia was defeated by the Belleville Stallions, 8-1.

Hobbie doubled in the top of the first inning and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Well, but Belleville would score twice in the second and four times in the fourth to take command of the game.

The top five finishers were:

•Rockford
•Belleville
•Vandalia
•Altamont
•Pinckneyville

Box scores
Game 1
Vandalia 2
Pinckneyville 1
P: 0-0-0-0-0-0-1—1-4-0
V: 0-0-1-0-1-0-0—2-7-1
WP: Meinhart; 7 IP, 5 K
LP: Hale; 7 IP, 2 K
Freight: Hobbie, 3-for-3, HR, RBI, 2 runs; Well, 2-for-3, RBI; Bob Nagel, 1-for-3, 2B; Mike Simmons, 1-for-2, BB.

Game 2
Vandalia 3
Altamont 0
A: 0-0-0-0-0-0-0—0-3-1
V: 0-1-2-0-0-0-0—3-2-0
WP: Meinhart; 7 IP, 8 K
LP: Schumaker; 7 IP, 5 K
Freight: Well, 1-for-2, HR, 2 RBI; Kurt Hickenbottom, 1-for-1; J.D. Arnold, run, BB; Casey, run, BB.

Game 3
Rockford 2
Vandalia 1
R: 0-1-0-0-0-0-1—2-7-0
V: 1-0-0-0-0-0-0—1-8-0
WP: Reynolds; 7 IP, 5 K
LP: Meinhart; 7 IP, 2 K
Freight: Casey, 2-for-3, 2B, RBI; Well, 2-for-2; Brian Kellerman, 1-for-2; Nagel, 1-for-3; Arnold, 1-for-4, run; Hobbie, 1-for-4.

Game 4
Belleville 8
Vandalia 1
V: 1-0-0-0-0-0—1-8-5
B: 0-2-0-4-1-1—8-5-4
WP: Davis; 6 IP, 3 K
LP: Payton Cloe; 3 1/3 IP, K
Freight: Hobbie, 1-for-3, 2B; Casey, 2-for-3; Nagel, 1-for-3; Mike Simmons, 1-for-3; Greg Nagel, 1-for-2; Well, RBI.