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Friday's game against Pana marked one of Vandalia's best-looking games of the season. Tuesday night against Altamont was another story, as the Vandals fell to the Indians, 12-7.
On Tuesday, Vandalia jumped out to a strong 7-1 lead in the first two innings, with four of those runs coming off the bat or Trevor Montgomery. However, the lead was not insurmountable for the Indians.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, after Vandalia's bats had cooled, the Indians got to work – putting together what would be a nine-run inning. The big inning took Vandalia out of the game as it was unable to score again. Throughout the season, the Vandals have struggled to score runs throughout games, a problem that was detrimental to them on Tuesday.
Despite his big day at the plate, going 3-for-4 and driving in four runs, Montgomery took the loss. He went 3 1/3 innings, giving up nine runs (seven earned) on four hits and four walks. He struck out two, and Vandalia's defense committed four errors behind him.
TK Kinkead went 2-for-3 with a run batted in. Ryan Thiele and Kyle Dugan each went 2-for-4.
Vandalia is on the road again Thursday, as it faces Shelbyville at 4:30 p.m. The Vandals return home Friday to host East Alton-Woodriver at 4:30 p.m. and will host a doubleheader against Patoka on Saturday at 10 a.m..
Vandalia made a statement in the conference on Friday with an impressive 12-2 win over Pana. The Vandals were nearly flawless in the victory."The pitching was there, the defense was there and the hitting was definitely there," Vandalia coach Luke Hohlt said.
Kyle Hawkins picked up his second win in three starts, going four innings in the shortened game. He struck out five, walked two and gave up two runs on four hits.
Vandalia was able to hit Pana from the start and score runs early. Kinkead drove in Craig Freeman in the bottom of the first on a ground out to second, and Vandalia never surrendered its lead.
The Vandals were held scoreless in the second, despite having a runner reach third. But it was in the third inning that Vandalia was able to break the game wide open. Ten Vandals went to the plate and six of the first seven scored. Kinkead picked up his second RBI of the day on a single to right. Montgomery and Dugan also drove in a run.
Dugan had a great day hitting out of the No. 9 spot in the order. He went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs.
With Vandalia leading 7-0, Pana was finally able to get on the board in the top of the fourth. The Panthers plated a run on a ground out to the pitcher.
The run wouldn't mean much, as Vandalia came out in the bottom of the fourth with the goal of ending the game early. They scored four runs in the frame to take an 11-1 lead.
Thiele led off with a triple to right center and scored on Kinkead's ensuing single to center.
Ian Murrell, who will not pitch the rest of the season due to an arm ailment, drove in Kinkead later in the inning. Dugan and Freeman drove in the last two runs of the inning.
Pana was faced with a choice in the top of the fifth – score or go home. They were able to score a run on a two-out double to left to cut the lead to 11-2 and avoid the 10-run rule.
In the bottom of the fifth, Thiele made the choice to end the game right there. He got a pitch up in the zone and drove it to left center, it cleared the wall and put Vandalia up 12-2, ending the game on a walk-off home run.
Thiele went 3-for-4 on the day. Freeman went 2-for-4 with two runs batted in, and Kinkead went 2-for-3 with three runs batted in.