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Season in review: Post 95 Sr. Legion

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By Andrew Harner

The Vandalia Sr. Legion squad had a memorable season, finishing 18-11 and reaching the first championship game in the double-elimination district tournament.

A player-by-player synopsis of the season follows.

Player: Raustin Zahradka
High school: Pana
Season recap: As Post 95’s offensive player of the year, Zahradka posted a pile of highlights during the season. The only player to play in all 29 games, Zahradka led the team in batting average (.481), hits (50) and RBI (23). He closed the season on an 18-game hitting streak, during which he batted .587 and had 15 multi-hit games, and on the season, “Zorro” failed to get a hit in just two games. During the Mattoon Firecracker Classic, he hit .600, with four doubles, a triple and four RBI, and during the district tournament, he hit .562, with a double, three RBI and four runs. Zahradka also had spot-duty on the pitcher’s mound, posting a 1-2 record and striking out five in 7 1/3 innings.
Best game: Against Salem in a 12-11 win during the district tournament, Zahradka went 4-for-5, with a double, two runs and an RBI.

Player: Dylan Bone
High school: Greenville
Season recap: A standout on offense and the pitcher’s mound, Bone was the most valuable all-around player for Post 95 this summer. Playing in 20 games, Bone led Vandalia in on-base percentage (.506) and doubles (9), and was second in batting average (.423). “The Tin Man” was one of three players on the team to hit a home run, his coming against Salem in the first game of the district tournament, and he had at least one hit in all but three games. From the mound, he was 5-1 with 36 strikeouts in six starts. He had a 3.46 earned-run average over 39 innings of work and walked just seven. Bone had a season-high 12 strikeouts in a seven-inning complete game against New Baden.
Best game: Offensively, Bone was 4-for-5, with a double, 3 RBI and four runs during a 25-1 win against Stew-Stras on July 9. From the mound, his best start was against New Baden during a 7-1 win on June 13, when he struck out 12 over seven innings and allowed one run on three hits.

Player: Derek Harmeier
College: Kaskaskia College
High school: South Central
Season recap: The team’s ace, Harmeier was a workhorse for Post 95, tossing 55 innings over nine starts to post a 6-3 record. He led the team in wins, strikeouts (40), complete games (four) and shutouts (two) His 1.47 earned-run average, 1.15 WHIP and .224 opponent batting average were also team-highs among the primary starters. He came to the plate in two games on the season, going 2-for-4, with two singles and a sacrifice bunt.
Best game: Harmeier tortured the Effingham lineup on June 27 during the opening game of the Mattoon Firecracker Classic, allowing nine hits but still getting the complete-game shutout in a 2-0 Vandalia win.

Player: Brady Huber
High school: Greenville
Season recap: Huber was a pitcher’s nightmare throughout the season, hitting .421 for the season and finishing the year on a 16-game hitting streak that dated back to June 13. Included in that streak were seven multi-hit games. He played in 22 games for Post 95, and hit in all but two of them. Huber led Vandalia in home runs (two), was second in hits (32), and was third in on-base percentage (.464), average (.421), doubles (six) and RBI (13).
Best game: Huber went 3-for-4, with two doubles, an RBI and a run during a 4-2 win against Pinckneyville on July 8.

Player: Ian Murrell
High school: Vandalia
Season recap: A standout on the mound and in the batter’s box, Murrell had a balanced season for Post 95 this summer. He started six games, completing four of them, to post a 4-1 record. He struck out 34 over 39 1/3 innings and walked a team-low five batters. His wins all came in a row, with Murrell pitching complete games against New Baden (June 13), Effingham (June 19), Robinson (June 28) and Bridgeport (July 7). Offensively, Murrell was fifth on the team with a .292 average in 24 games, and had a .420 on-base percentage. He led the team with 13 walks, and also scored eight times and drove in nine runs.
Best game: From the mound, Murrell allowed three hits and one run while striking out five in seven innings of work against Robinson at the Mattoon Firecracker Classic in a 3-1 Vandalia win on June 28. Offensively, he went 2-for-4, with two doubles and two RBI in a season-opening 4-1 win against Carlyle on May 29.

Player: Dathan Berning
High school: Vandalia
Season recap: A dangerous runner on the basepaths and a consistent swinger, Berning put together one of the more balanced offensive seasons for Post 95. In 24 games, he led Vandalia in stolen bases (11) and runs (23), while finishing second in RBI (21) and fourth in average (.323). Twice, Berning had four hits and four RBI in the same game, and during a four-game stretch from July 5-9, Berning hit .684, with eight RBI, seven runs and three steals. During the district tournament, he had a walk-off hit in a 12-11 win against Salem in the loser’s bracket final. In two relief pitching appearances, Berning struck out three batters in 3 1/3 innings, allowing one run on one hit and five walks.
Best game: Berning was perfect against Bridgeport on July 7, going 4-for-4, with a double, four RBI, three runs and two steals.

Player: Dalton Goldsmith
High school: Nokomis
Season recap: Appearing in a team-high 10 games from the pitcher’s mound, Goldsmith was a very strong No. 4 starter, going 2-3, with four complete games. He started six games and pitched 50 innings, striking out 20 and walking 10. Goldsmith’s 2.88 earned-run average was third-best among starters, and he struck out at least one batter in all 10 of his appearances. Offensively, “Goldie” appeared in seven games, going 1-for-3, with two RBI against New Baden.
Best game: In temperatures hotter than 100 degrees, Goldsmith pitched a complete game against Funkhouser, Ind., during the Mattoon Firecracker Classic, allowing one run on three hits in a 2-1 Vandalia win on June 28.

Player: Mitch Wolff
High school: Altamont
Season recap: Post 95’s primary catcher showed his toughness over the summer, playing in all but two games for Vandalia. “The Wolffman” was steady on offense, hitting .281, with two doubles, 15 runs and 11 RBI. He was hit in the chin by a pitch during the district tournament, but stayed in the game for the next two innings. Wolff was at his best during the Mattoon Firecracker Classic, slugging the game-winning hit against Funkhouser, Ind., and hitting .375 during the five-game tournament.
Best game: Wolff clobbered the game-winning hit against Funkhouser to complete a 2-for-3 day in a 2-1 win on June 28. He also had a sac bunt during the game.

Player: Dylan Carr
High school: Greenville
Season recap: A regular in the lineup and Vandalia’s No. 1 relief pitcher, Carr started 22 games in the field and made five appearances from the mound, including one start. Carr’s average of .244 doesn’t stand out, but he had an on-base percentage of .333, scored 14 runs and stole six bases. He hit in all five games of the Mattoon Firecracker Classic and had two three-hit games on the season. From the mound, he was 0-1, striking out nine in 14 2/3 innings pitched. His lone start was a complete-game loss to Lincoln at Mattoon, and he pitched relief in two games of the district tournament.
Best game: Carr was perfect against Granite City in a five-inning 11-1 victory on June 20, going 3-for-3, with a walk, RBI and run. From the mound, he tossed three innings of relief during a 3-0 loss to Effingham on June 19, allowing just one hit while striking out a pair.

Player: Cy Perfetti
High school: Greenville
Season recap: Due to other obligations, Perfetti played in just 14 games for Vandalia, but every time he took the field, he made his efforts count. A defensive whiz at shortstop, “Cybo” was also a threat to get on base. His .434 on-base percentage dwarfed his .268 batting average, and he scored 12 runs and had five steals. Perfetti had the dubious honor of leading the team by getting hit by seven pitches. His season ended prematurely when he broke his left middle finger sliding into second base during the first game of the district tournament.
Best game: In a 13-5 win at Salem on June 4, Perfetti was 2-for-3, with 2 RBI, two runs and, of course, a hit by a pitch.

Player: Kyle Bloemker
High school: Mulberry Grove
Season recap: In 20 games with Post 95, Bloemker had four doubles and nine RBI in 56 at-bats. His .328 on-base percentage helped him score six times, and he hit .268 for the season.
Best game: Against Salem in the district tournament on July 15, Bloemker had three RBI singles and scored twice during a 12-11 Vandalia win.

Player: Seth Lohman
High school: Greenville
Season recap: Picked up in 10th game of the season, Lohman became a regular in Post 95’s lineup, starting 17 of the final 19 games. He had a .377 on-base percentage – which included nine hits, eight walks and six times being hit by a pitch. He made one relief pitching appearance, allowing one hit over 2 1/3 innings of work.
Best game: In the opening game of the district tournament against Salem on July 14, Lohman had a key two-run double in Post 95’s 9-6 victory.

Player: Tyler Herpstreith
High school: Nokomis
Season recap: Playing mostly at the end of the season, Herpstreith appeared in 13 games for Post 95, hitting .276 and posting a .463 on-base percentage. He scored nine runs and walked 10 times, while also stealing four bases.
Best game: He was 2-for-2, with three runs, one RBI and one steal during a 12-0 win against Pittsfield at the Jerseyville Round Robin on June 23.

Player: Blaine Scholes
High school: St. Elmo
Season recap: Scholes started eight of the 12 games he played in, earning four hits, five runs and six RBI. He had an RBI in three straight games from June 4-9.
Best game: In the New Baden Wooden Bat Classic against Salem, Scholes was 2-for-4, with a run and an RBI during a 3-2 Vandalia loss.

Player: Tyler Pryor
High school: Ramsey
Season recap: Pryor started nine of the 13 games he played in for Post 95, getting one hit and three runs on the season.
Best game: Against New Baden on June 13, Pryor was 1-for-3 during a 6-3 Vandalia win.

Player: Brady McDowell
High school: Brownstown
Season recap: Prior to leaving the team on June 19, McDowell had started nine games for Vandalia, hitting .286 with two doubles and three RBI.
Best game: Against Salem on June 4, McDowell was 2-for-3, with a double, two RBI and two runs in a 13-5 Post 95 victory.