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Jr. Legion team has strong finish to week

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By Andrew Harner

Vandalia’s Jr. Legion team had mixed results in the past week, starting off the week with losses to Roxana and Mattoon, but sweeping a doubleheader from Bluford on Sunday.

Upcoming games are at Breese on Friday (6 p.m. doubleheader), at Mattoon on Saturday (6 p.m. doubleheader), at Teutopolis next Monday (6 p.m. doubleheader) and at Granite City next  Tuesday (5:30 p.m. seven-inning game).

The District Tournament opens up in Teutopolis next Thursday.

***

On Sunday, Vandalia’s offense pounded Bluford in both games of a doubleheader, taking game one, 12-2, and game two, 11-2.

In the bottom of the first inning in game one, Post 95 strung together four hits, a walk and a hit batter to produce six runs. The stretch was highlighted by a double from Zach Schaal and a two-run single from Jake Bowen, who went 3-for-3, with three RBI.

After Bluford got two runs back in the top of the second, Vandalia would score another, with Bowen driving in Johnnie Clift with a triple in the bottom.

In the fourth, Vandalia added five more runs to build its 10-run lead.

Post 95 stole four bases – including a double-steal of second and home by Clift and Bowen – to help push runs across the board.

Eric Gurtner had an RBI triple, and Carson Smith and Colin Ledbetter each had RBI singles.
Smith was the winning pitcher for Post 95.

In game two, Clift had two extra-base hits that both were just short of clearing the fence and were among the 11 Post 95 had in the game.

Bluford snatched the early lead, going ahead, 1-0, in the first after Joel Robinson singled and later scored on a wild pitch.

But Post 95 wouldn’t be fazed, as the team secured two runs in the second and at least one in every inning after that.

Clinton Hood singled to open the second, and he scored on a single from Matt Korte, who would eventually score on a balk.

Clift got the offense going in the third, with a triple, and he crossed the plate on a wild pitch.

Matt Rademacher beat out an infield single to lead off the fourth, and he wound up on third after a pair of errors from Bluford’s infield. He scored when Matt Korte reached on an error.

After a double play, Collin Nestleroad was hit a pitch, and he scored when Seth Allen reached on a two-base error by the third baseman. Clift then followed with a double.

Gurtner had a two-run pinch-hit single in the fifth, and Vandalia added three more runs in the sixth.

Nate Ketchem earned the win, striking out two over five innings. He allowed just one hit and walked two.

Box scores
Sunday, July 1
Vandalia 11
Bluford 2
B: 1-0-0-0-1-0-0—2-1-6
V: 0-2-1-3-2-3-X—11-11-3
WP: Ketchem, 5 IP, 2 K, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 H, 2 BB
LP: Austin
Post 95: Clift, 2-for-4, 2B, 3B, RBI, run; Tristan Wesselman, 2-for-3, run, BB; Rademacher, 2-for-4, 2 runs; Korte, 2-for-3, 2 RBI, run; Gurtner, 1-for-1, 2 RBI; Allen, 1-for-4; Bowen, 2 runs, SB; Ledbetter, run, SB; Schaal, run, SB.
Record: 9-18

Sunday, July 1
Vandalia 12
Bluford 2
B: 0-2-0-0-0—2-4-0
V: 6-1-0-5-X—12-10-1
WP: Smith
LP: Hill
Post 95: Bowen, 3-for-3, 3B, 3 RBI, 2 runs, SB; Gurtner, 2-for-3, 3B, RBI, 2 runs; Clift, 1-for-1, 3 runs, 2 SB, BB, HBP; Schaal, 1-for-3, run; Smith, 1-for-2, RBI, 2 runs, BB; Derek Childress, 1-for-3, RBI, run; Ketchem, 2 RBI, SB, 2 BB.
Record: 8-18

***

Last Friday, Vandalia dropped the first game of a doubleheader to Mattoon, 8-6.

A late rally in the seventh inning produced a pair of runs, but two runners were stranded to end the game.

Jake Bowen finished a 2-for-4 day with a single, and he scored on Carson Smith’s single. In between, Eric Gurtner reached on an error, and he scored on a sacrifice fly from Tristan Wesselman.

Post 95 trailed, 1-0, going into the bottom of the first, but three Mattoon errors helped Quinn Wadkins and Johnnie Clift scored after both were walked.

Mattoon would tie the game in the second and took a lead with a home run in the third, but Post 95 scored twice in the bottom of the third to knot the game at four.

Clift reached on a passed ball after he swung at strike three, and Bowen followed with an infield single. Both would score on a single from Smith, who went 2-for-4, with three RBI and a stolen base.

A run from Mattoon in the fourth broke the tie, and three more in the sixth put Vandalia behind by four.

Box score
Friday, June 29
Mattoon 8
Vandalia 6
M: 1-1-2-1-3-0-0—8-12-7
V: 2-0-2-0-0-0-2—6-5-1
LP: Hood; 4 1/3 IP, 3 K, 8 ER, 10 H, 3 BB, 1 HBP
Post 95: Smith, 2-for-4, 3 RBI; Bowen, 2-for-4, 2 runs, SB; Wadkins, 1-for-3, run, SB, BB; Clift, 2 runs, BB; Wesselman, sac fly, RBI; Gurtner, run, HBP; Nestleroad, BB.
Record: 7-17

***

Against Roxana last Thursday, Post 95 lost 14-4 in a nine-inning game.

Seth Allen had an RBI single in the second, and Collin Nestleroad scored on a wild pitch after walking in the third.

Colin Ledbetter and Nestleroad both scored in the seventh, but by that point, Vandalia was trailing 12-4.

Box score
Thursday, June 28
Roxana 14
Vandala 4
R: 3-0-2-0-3-1-3-1-1—14
V: 0-1-1-0-0-0-2-0-0—4
LP: Beck, 3 IP, 2 K
Record: 7-16