Facing two standout pitchers who will be pitching in college, the Sr. Legion team on Tuesday was able to split a doubleheader against Effingham.
In game one, Effingham used Nick Gardewire, who will be attending Kaskaskia College, and he allowed just two hits to earn a 3-0 shutout victory.
“We weren’t very good offensively, but they threw a very, very good pitcher,” said Post 95 coach Andy Rincker. “He’s an upper 80s/lower 90s guy who shut us down.”
In the second game, the offense picked up some runs off of Mark Niebrugge, who will attend Quincy University, scoring twice in the first to set the tone for a 7-3 win.
That, Rincker said, was the key to the victory that puts the team at 7-5 and 2-1 in the district.
“Scoring two runs in the first inning helped our confidence by showing that we can score some runs off of good pitchers,” Rincker said.
Post 95 got a good pitching performance of its own in the game, as Ian Murrell pitched a complete game, striking out four in the final three innings and allowing eight hits.
Dathan Berning was hit by the second pitch of the game, but the next two batters recorded outs. Mitch Wolff and Murrell would follow with walks, and Berning scored on a wild pitch.
Raustin Zahradka then delivered an RBI single.
After Effingham got a run back in the third by taking advantage of a Vandalia error, Post 95 did the same, only taking advantage of five Effingham errors, to put three more runs on the board to chase Niebrugge from the game.
“It helps us,” Rincker said of facing quality pitchers. “It shows our guys the level that we need to get to if we want to win the districts, because we have to beat pitchers like him, who we will see again (in the tournament).”
Cy Perfetti led off the third by reaching on error, and Dylan Carr followed with a double. Errors were committed in the next two at-bats from Wolff and Murrell, and another was committed later in the inning for Kyle Bloemker.
Post 95 would score again in the fourth, with Seth Lohman crossing the plate, and in the sixth, with Murrell driving home Berning.
In game one, Gardewire retired the first eight batters before issuing a walk to Lohman, but it wouldn’t be until the fifth inning that Vandalia would get its first hit.
Brady McDowell stroked a one-out single in the fifth to break-up the no-hitter in what was his final game for the Sr. Legion squad. Some of his priorities have changed and forced him to leave the team.
“We’ll miss Brady, because he keeps things light in the dugout,” Rincker said. “He’s a team-player who’s had a nice season.”
Brady Huber doubled in the seventh for Post 95’s other hit.
On Saturday, Post 95 will travel to Jerseyville for a round-robin, and next Monday play at Lindenwood University against the St. Louis Pirates. Starting next Wednesday is the Mattoon Firecracker Tournament.
Tuesday, June 19
WP: Murrell; 7 IP, 4 K, 3 R, 1 ER, 8 H, 1 BB
LP: Niebrugge; 3 IP, 1 K
Post 95: Berning, 1-for-2, 2 runs, SB, BB, HBP; Perfetti, run, HBP; Carr, 2-for-4, run, SB; Wolff, 2 runs, BB; Murrell, 1-for-3, RBI; Zahradka, 2-for-4, RBI, 2 SB; Lohman, run, HBP.
Tuesday, June 19
WP: Gardewire; 7 IP, 5 K
LP: Dalton Goldsmith; 4 IP, 1 K, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 H, 3 BB
Post 95: McDowell, 1-for-2; Huber, 1-for-3, 2B; Bloemker, BB; Lohman, BB.
Ian Murrell asked his team to give its pitcher some insurance runs before one of the middle innings of last Friday’s game.
Little did he know, he would eventually be the one to answer his own request.
Murrell’s RBI single brought home the first of four insurance runs the Sr. Legion team scored in the bottom of the inning to support another brilliant outing by Derek Harmeier during a 7-2 win against Salem.
“The other pitcher was starting to get his stuff up a little bit, and our guys starting jumping on him,” Murrell said. “We started using the whole field, and when I came up, I knew I needed to hit something to the right side to get a run in.”
The victory was big for Post 95, which also swept a doubleheader against New Baden last Wednesday, as it gave the team a three-game winning streak that put to rest doubts of the team’s offensive ability.
After starting the season with 32 hits in the first three games, Post 95 (6-4) struggled in the next four, pounding out just 16 hits, but coach Andy Rincker said that another three-game stretch with 35 total hits shows what Vandalia can do offensively.
He would, however, like to see his team play more consistent baseball.
“We haven’t played real consistently yet,” Rincker said. “We’ve shown flashes of being very good and flashes of not being very good offensively, but our pitchers have thrown the ball very well to keep us in a lot of ballgames.”
Murrell’s single followed a single by Dylan Bone and a double from Brady Huber, who paced the offense with a 3-for-4 effort, including two doubles,
The next two batters recorded outs, but Post 85 went to work with two outs, with Seth Lohman, Cy Perfetti and Dylan Carr all singling to give Harmeier a 7-1 lead as he entered the top of the ninth.
Harmeier couldn’t finish the game unscathed, allowing a run on four hits in the ninth. Salem’s only other run came in the second inning on a double steal of second and home.
Otherwise, Harmeier was barely scratched, allowing just three other hits, walking no one and striking out four.
“He is big-time,” Rincker said. “Every time he goes out there, we have a chance to win.”
Harmeier’s teammates had his back the whole game, quickly scoring in the bottom of the second to tie the game at one.
Huber led off the inning, but was retired when Murrell bounced into a fielder’s choice. Murrell would steal second, and crossed the plate on a single from Raustin Zahradka.
Post 95 would take the lead in the fourth, with Huber starting the rally with a double and Brady McDowell delivering a two-out RBI single.
Singles from Perfetti, Mitch Wolff and Bone produced another run in the fifth.
The game was the fourth in the season series against Salem, and will be the last unless the team’s meet in the District Tournament.
With each team having won two games, Rincker welcomes the idea of a tiebreaker – under one condition.
“They are very dangerous and swing the bats well,” Rincker said. “The only way I want to see them again in districts is if we’re playing for a championship.”
Friday, June 15
Post 95: Huber, 3-for-4, 2 2B, 2 runs; Perfetti, 3-for-5, run, SB; Bone, 2-for-4, RBI, run; Carr, 2-for-4, RBI, sac bunt; Murrell, 1-for-4, RBI, 2 runs, 2 SB; Zahradka, 1-for-3, 2 RBI, BB; McDowell, 1-for-2, RBI; Lohman, 1-for-4, RBI, run, SB; Wolff, 1-for-5, SB.
Last Wednesday, Post 95 swept a doubleheader at New Baden, getting complete-game efforts from the starters in 6-3 and 7-1 victories.
Ian Murrell struck out five over seven innings in game one, and he was backed up by a four-run fourth inning from the offense.
Mitch Wolff and Dylan Bone hit back-to-back singles to open that inning, and Brady Huber and Brady McDowell then reached on back-to-back errors to produce two runs.
After a strikeout, Dalton Goldsmith hit a two-run single to give Post 95 a 4-0 lead.
New Baden got one run in the fifth, but Kyle Bloemker answered back with a two-run double in the bottom of the frame.
In total, Post 95 had 11 hits, with Wolff, Bone and Huber each getting two.
The second game was all Vandalia, as well, as a two-run third and five-run fourth supported Bone’s 12-strikeout performance.
Wolff and Bone each had RBI singles in the third, and an RBI double from Murrell and an RBI single from Huber got the big fourth inning rolling.
Bloemker, Goldsmith, Raustin Zahradka, Murrell and Bone all scored in the inning, and New Baden didn’t get its first run until the seventh.
Wednesday, June 13
New Baden 3
WP: Murrell; 7 IP, 5 K, 3 R, 1 ER, 8 H, 0 BB
Post 95: Bone, 2-for-3, 2 runs, BB; Wolff, 2-for-4, 2 runs; Huber, 2-for-4, run; Bloemker, 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI; Goldsmith, 1-for-3, 2 RBI; McDowell, 1-for-4, run; Zahradka, 1-for-3, BB; Tyler Pryor, 1-for-3.
Wednesday, June 13
New Baden 1
WP: Bone; 7 IP, 12 K, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 H, 1 BB
Post 95: Bone, 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, run, SB; Wolff, 2-for-4, RBI, run; Murrell, 2-for-2, RBI, run, BB; Zahradka, 1-for-3, 2 runs, BB; Bloemker, 1-for-4, 2B, run; McDowell, 1-for-4, 2B; Huber, 1-for-4; Goldsmith, run.