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Post 95 reigns supreme

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Beasley's shutout lifts Vandalia to title in Robinson

By Andrew Harner

Connor Beasley has found his groove again.

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Beasley fired his first complete game shutout of the summer in last Saturday’s championship game of the inaugural Robinson Sr. Legion Wounded Warriors Tournament, a 4-0 win against Tennessee.

It was Beasley’s second appearance of the tournament, after having allowed 10 earned runs over 8 2/3 innings in his last three appearances.

He pitched three perfect innings on 37 pitches in last Thursday’s 18-2 win against short-handed Teutopolis in Post 95’s first game of pool play.

Beasley (3-2) was pulled early from that game so he would be available if Post 95 made the title game.

In the title game, he struck out six.

Quinn Wadkins and Austin Schwarm hit back-to-back two-run doubles with two outs in the sixth as Vandalia broke a scoreless tie.

Both had been 0-for-3.

Noah Powless went 2-for-3, with a double, and Kyle Bray and Brett Mueller each singled and drew two walks for Post 95.

Powless went 11-for-20 during the tournament, improving his team-high batting average to .466. He drove in 13 runs and scored seven times.

Five of his hits went for extra bases (two home runs and three doubles), and of his 41 hits this season, 21 have gone for extra bases, giving him a slugging percentage of .818.

Powless had multiple hits in the last three games of the tournament, and has had three straight multi-hit games four times this summer.

The win was Vandalia’s eighth straight, and third of the shutout variety. Vandalia (26-7) has held opponents to two or fewer runs 13 times in 33 games.

Saturday, July 5
Vandalia 4
Tennessee 0
T: 0-0-0-0-0-0-0—0
V: 0-0-0-0-0-4-X—4
WP: Beasley (3-2); 7 IP, 6 K
Post 95: Schwarm, 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Wadkins, 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI; Powless, 2-for-3, 2B; Mueller, 1-for-1, 2 BB, SB; Bray, 1-for-2, 2 BB.
Record: 26-7

***

Connor Beasley ripped an RBI single to cap a three-run seventh for Vandalia’s second walk-off win against Teutopolis this summer.

Beasley’s single followed a two-run double by Noah Powless as Post 95 erased a two-run deficit in a 5-4 victory in the single-elimination bracket semifinals, its fourth win against Teutopolis this season.

All the while, Jacob Behrends fired his third straight complete game, striking out eight in staying undefeated at 7-0.

Behrends allowed two earned runs, and has allowed just four earned runs in his past 20 innings. He has struck out 24 batters in the same span.

Teutopolis scored single runs in the second, fourth, sixth and seventh innings while holding Vandalia (25-7) to a run in the first and sixth.

Powless hit his 15th double of the season in the seventh to tie the game, driving in Kyle Bray and Austin Schwarm.

Schwarm stretched his streak of scoring to 16 straight games, crossing the plate 26 times in that span. He holds the team lead in runs (34) by a dozen.

Beasley has only hit in nine games this season, but has reached base in each game. He went 1-for-2, with a pair of walks against T-Town, driving in Powless to end the game for his seventh RBI.

Saturday, July 5
Vandalia 5
Teutopolis 4
T: 0-1-0-1-0-1-1—4
V: 1-0-0-0-0-1-3—5
WP: Behrends (7-0); 7 IP, 8 K
Powless, 2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI, run; Bray, 2-fo-3, 2B, run, BB; Beasley, 1-for-2, RBI, 2 BB.
Record: 25-7

***

The multi-hit games just keep coming for Austin Schwarm.

He went 3-for-4 in Vandalia’s 11-1 win against Green County (Ind.) last Friday in the final game of pool play at the Robinson Tournament.

Schwarm has multiple hits in seven of his past eight games, and is hitting .607 in that span.

He was a triple short of the cycle against Green County, swatting his second home run of the season as one of three players from Post 95 to go deep.

Noah Powless hit his fifth home run and had four RBI for the second time in the tournament, and Ryan Miller hit his first homer of the summer.

The game marked the seventh time Vandalia (24-7) has scored at least 11 runs in a game, and the win secured the top seed in the tournament’s single-elimination bracket.

Tristan Wesselman (2-1) fired his first complete game in three starts, allowing an unearned run in six innings and striking out two.

Friday, July 4
Vandalia 11
Green County 1
G: 0-0-1-0-0-0—1
V: 0-1-4-2-0-4—11
WP: Wesselman (2-1); 6 IP, 2 K
Post 95: Schwarm, 3-for-4, HR, 2B, 3 RBI, 3 runs, SB; Powless, 2-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI, 2 runs; Miller, 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, run; Jacob Behrends, 2-for-3; Gavin Ratermann, RBI, 2 runs, 3 SB, BB.
Record: 24-7

***

Vandalia danced in and out of trouble during last Friday’s game against Tennessee.

Starter Dylen Peters walked eight in five-plus innings, but Post 95 stranded nine runners in scoring position and 12 overall to hang on and beat Tennessee, 7-6, at the Robinson Tournament.

A run in the top of the seventh broke a 6-6 tie, and Vandalia got an outfield assist from Brett Mueller to cut down a runner at the plate for the second out in the bottom of the seventh.

Nate Ketchem (1-0) became the 12th Post 95 pitcher to record a win this summer, striking out one over the final two innings.

Austin Schwarm led the offense, going 3-for-4, with a double and three RBI, and Johnnie Clift went 2-for-2, with two runs and two walks, extending his hitting streak to five games.

Noah Powless had a single and two RBI for Vandalia (23-7) and Gavin Ratermann went 1-for-3, with two runs and an RBI.

Post 95 scored in the top of the first, but Tennessee came back with three runs in the bottom of the frame.
Vandalia retook the lead with a four-run fourth, but Tennessee tied the game with two runs in the sixth.

Friday, July 4
Vandalia 7
Tennessee 6
V: 1-0-1-4-0-0-1—7
T: 3-0-0-1-0-2-0—6
WP: Ketchem (1-0); 2 IP, 1 K
Post 95: Schwarm, 3-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI, run; Clift, 2-for-2, 2 runs, 2 BB; Powless, 1-for-2, 2 RBI Ratermann, 1-for-3, RBI, 2 runs, BB.
Record: 23-7

***

ROBINSON – Quinn Wadkins made a diving catch to stall a Robinson rally in the third inning and hit a two-run double in the bottom of the frame to shift the momentum in last Thursday’s 8-4 win at the Robinson Tournament.

His double capped a five-run inning for Post 95 that erased a 4-2 deficit, as Robinson opened the game – which also counted in the District standings – with eight hits in three innings.

Wadkins’ diving stab on a liner to second base stranded runners on first and third and redeemed an error he made on the first play of the inning.

“It was nice,” he said. “I was in the right spot at the right time.

“It pumped us up, and made them forget that error I had.”

Vandalia opened the third inning with two free passes before Ryan Miller roped a two-run double to left-center.

He was retired on a fielder’s choice after Dalton Crisman’s walk.

Austin Schwarm followed with an RBI double to left, and Wadkins pulled a double to right, giving him two RBI in three straight games.

“It speaks for itself,” said acting coach Rod Mueller of the momentum shift following Wadkins’ catch. “It pulled everybody up, and the whole dugout got into the game.”

Vandalia (22-7, 8-1 D) took a 2-0 lead on Johnnie Clift’s two-run single with no outs in the first inning, but Robinson countered with three runs in the second – including a two-run homer to left.

“We started slow, and that woke us up,” Wadkins said. “We got things rolling, then finished it out.”

Robinson chased Vandalia starter Clinton Hood after three innings. He improved to 3-1 after allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits and a walk, while striking out three.

Clift fired four strong innings of relief, hitting one batter and allowing just one hit. He struck out a season-high five in his sixth appearance.

Schwarm hit an RBI single in the fourth for Vandalia’s final run. He and Crisman both scored two runs in the game.

Schwarm, Wadkins and Brett Mueller each had two steals in the game.

Each batter in Post 95’s lineup drew at least one walk, as Robinson gave up 12. Of those, eight came with runners in scoring position but only three came in to score.

Thursday, July 3
Vandalia 8
Robinson 4
R: 0-3-1-0-0-0-0—4-9-2
V: 2-0-5-1-0-0-X—8-6-2
WP: Hood (3-1); 3 IP, 3 K
Post 95: Wadkins, 2-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI, run, 2 SB, 2 BB; Schwarm, 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 runs, 2 SB, BB; Clift, 1-for-3, 2 RBI, BB; Miller, 1-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB; Crisman, 2 runs, 2 HBP, BB; Mueller, run, BB, HBP, 2 SB; Connor Beasley, run, 2 BB; Nate Ketchem, run; Brock Trexler, BB, sac bunt; Noah Powless, BB.
Record: 22-7 (8-1 D)

***

ROBINSON – Connor Beasley threw three perfect innings, Noah Powless went 4-for-4 and Vandalia used a 10-run second inning to pound a short-handed Teutopolis squad 18-2 last Thursday in the opening game of the Robinson Tournament.

Teutopolis – which had just eight players, several which are members of the Jr. Legion team – used coach Andy Borries, a 2014 graduate, to fill its roster and needed four pitchers to get through the game.

Beasley (2-2) struck out five straight batters at one point and matched his season-high with six in his start.
He was lifted in the third inning, allowing him a chance to pitch later in the tournament.

“We saved Beasley with 37 pitches, so we have a fresh arm,” said acting coach Rod Mueller.

Tristan Wesselman pitched the final two innings, allowing a pair of runs on five hits. He struck out two.

Post 95 opened the second inning with seven straight hits, with Johnnie Clift and Gavin Ratermann delivering RBI doubles. Ryan Miller had two RBI singles in the inning, and Powless and Clift also had RBI singles.

“We came out pretty solid,” Miller said. “We were seeing the ball well and hitting it.”

Brett Mueller drove home a run on a sacrifice fly, Quinn Wadkins brought in a run on a fielder’s choice and another run scored on an error.

The scoring was rapid-fire, as 13 batters came to the plate and saw just 22 pitches to create the 10 runs. Only one of those hitters saw three pitches in his at-bat.

“We came to play, and were ready to see the right pitches,”  Rod Mueller said.

Powless hit a long home run to centerfield for three runs in the third. He hit home runs in back-to-back games for the first time this summer.

Prior to his at-bat, Mueller instructed Powless to make an adjustment in the batter’s box, and even his teammates sensed that he was about to have a big hit.

“I was sitting next to Ryan (Miller) and said, ‘He’s going to rock this pitch,’” Clift said. “The next pitch, he rocked it.”

Powless had his first four-hit game of the summer and also had four RBI and four runs. He broke his bat on a single on the second pitch of the second inning.

In his past three games, he is 9-for-12 with nine RBI.

Clift and Miller opened the fourth inning with back-to-back doubles, with Clift scoring on a throwing error after he stole third.

Clift had his first three-hit game of the summer, and has two straight multi-hit games after a three-game stretch saw him strike out eight times in nine at-bats.

“I’ve shortened up my swing a little bit,” he said. “I’ve been watching a lot of baseball, and taking bits and pieces out of everyone’s game and putting them into mine.”

Miller scored on a sacrifice fly by Jacob Behrends, and Quinn Wadkins had an RBI single after Brock Trexler reached on an error to wrap up the fourth.

Austin Schwarm scored in the fifth when Miller drew a bases-loaded walk, and Trexler brought home Powless on an infield single.

Vandalia (21-7) has scored 34 runs on 30 hits in its past two games, and has at least 10 hits in three straight games, easily its most production stretch of the season.

Thursday, July 3
Vandalia 18
Teutopolis 2
V: 0-10-3-3-2—18-16-0
T: 0-0-0-0-2—2-5-3
WP: Beasley (2-2); 3 IP, 6 K
Post 95: Powless, 2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI, 4 runs; Clift, 3-for-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 runs, 2 SB, BB; Miller, 3-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 runs, SB, BB; Trexler, 2-for-4, RBI, 2 runs; Ratermann, 1-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 runs, BB; Wadkins, 1-for-3, 2 RBI, run, BB; Behrends, 1-for-2, RBI, run, SF; B. Mueller, 1-for-2, RBI, run, SF; Schwarm, 2 runs, BB.
Record: 21-7