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Vandalia’s Sr. Legion squad got pretty familiar with Salem and Effingham over the summer.
Playing Effingham five times and Salem six times during the season created quite the rivalry with both teams – and both of them came back up during the district tournament.
Vandalia played each team twice in the tournament, beating Salem twice and losing to Effingham twice. The widest winning margin in any tournament game was four runs.
“Between Effingham and Salem, it was a dogfight every time,” said Vandalia coach Andy Rincker. “I’ll say this, I watched a lot of high school baseball this spring because of recruiting, and these games were good baseball games.”
For the season, Post 95 was 2-3 against Effingham and 4-2 against Salem.
Cy Perfetti always seems to have a dirty uniform.
The Sr. Legion shortstop’s signature hustle robbed countless opponents of hits this season, and his speed was an asset on the bases in his limited action this season.
But he met his match on Saturday in the first game of the district tournament, breaking his left middle finger while sliding into second base on a successful steal.
Perfetti stayed in the game after his steal, taking third base on an error and scoring later in the inning, but he left the game for a hospital just minutes after the inning ended.
Fortunately, Post 95 has another standout shortstop in Dathan Berning, who made his fair share of spectacular defensive plays during the remainder of the tournament.
Mitch Wolff was hit in the chin by a pitch against Salem on Sunday night, and it initially appeared that Vandalia was going to be down a second player.
Lying facedown in the dirt for several seconds after being hit, many expected Wolff’s face to be bloodied, but when he stood up and took first base, he showed very few ill effects.
“He has been a warrior,” Rincker said. “He got hit in the chin, and then when he scored, he got tagged in the face.”
He would later leave the game as a precaution, but returned as a substitute at first base during Monday’s game against Effingham.
Brady Huber began Sunday’s game against Salem as the team’s designated hitter, but finished it on the field – taking two positions throughout the game.
He came in to play left field after a pitching change was made during the fifth inning, and one inning later, he moved to catcher after Wolff left the game.
It’s not often that a team can allow 22 hits in a game and still win, but that’s exactly what Vandalia did Sunday night against Salem.
When asked how many times he remembered winning in that scenario, Rincker had a very quick answer.
“Zero,” he said.
Vandalia started the season with three home runs in the first three games.
But those would be the last longballs until Dylan Bone's homer against Salem on Saturday.