Vandals snap losing streak; to honor seniors Friday

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By Andrew Harner

While it’s likely that teams will eventually catch on to his bunting, Vandalia junior Leyton Godoyo still might be fast enough to outrun a prepared defense.

He showcased his speed last Wednesday, when he had three bunt singles and three stolen bases to help the Vandals snap an 11-game losing streak by defeating Hillsboro, 9-3.

What’s good, however, is that while Godoyo has attempted bunts in the majority of his recent at-bats, if a defense ever does find a good strategy to stop his bunts, he is perfectly capable of swinging away for hits.

“When he put the ball on the ground in the hole, there was no way they were going to make a play,” said coach Luke Hohlt. “He swung the bat with authority last year, but he has turned into a nice bunter.”

And if Godoyo reaches first with no other runners on, the umpires might as well just save some time and award him third base.

Godoyo’s speed allows him to steal bases with ease. He has better than 20 on the season, and they oftentimes come in pairs.

“When he is on first base and he’s not tied up with a runner on second, I fully expect him to be on third base,” Hohlt said. “A lot of pitchers around this area don’t control the running game really well.”

In the bottom of the first inning, Godoyo actually came to bat with the bases loaded, but still opted to lay down a bunt.

He reached first and drove in the second run of the game on the play, propelling a four-run rally that saw 10 Vandals come to the plate.

Freshman Zach Schaal followed Godoyo with a two-run single.

“It was huge. It was the difference in the game,” Hohlt said of scoring four times in the first. “If we don’t score a couple of runs and let them stay in the game, then we would have gotten in trouble.”

Senior Ian Murrell made sure that there wouldn’t be any answering back for the Hilltoppers in the top of the second, by striking out the side on 16 pitches, or in the top of the third, by using 10 pitches to induce three routine outs.

By the end of the game, the Vandals had made just one error.

“It was a well-played defensive game,” Hohlt said. “The pitcher has to trust that the defense will make plays, and the defense has to trust that the pitcher is going to give them a chance to make plays.

“When you get that together, then you can make things happen on the field.”

Godoyo gave the Vandals a 5-0 lead in the third, when he he reached on a bunt, stole second and third, and was brought home on a fielder’s choice from Schaal, who had four RBI in the game.

Vandalia scored three more times in the fifth, with senior Nick Metzger scoring on Godoyo’s bunt single, senior Trevor Montgomery scoring on Schaal’s single and Schaal scoring on a wild pitch.

Meanwhile, Murrell was still cruising from the hill, having allowed just two hits through the first five innings before hitting a bump in the sixth.

Hillsboro strung together three hits – including a double and a two-run single – along with a pair of fielder’s choices to get three runs and take away an easy chance for Vandalia to win via the 10-run rule.

“I’m not even going to ask for the 10-run rule, even though we had our chances,” Hohlt said. “We’re going to run with this and hopefully carry it over.”

Senior Dathan Berning walked, stole second, advanced to third on an error and scored on a wild pitch to give Vandalia another run in the bottom of the sixth.

Murrell needed just eight pitches to end the game in the seventh inning, inducing a popup and a line drive before striking out the final batter.

The senior class was scheduled to be honored before Monday's game against Marquette Catholic, but rain postponed that game until Friday.

Box score
Wednesday, May 2
Vandalia 9
Hillsboro 3
HHS: 0-0-0-0-0-3-0—3-5-5
VHS: 4-0-1-0-3-1-X—9-9-1
WP: Murrell (6-4); 7 IP, 5 K, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 H, 0 BB
LP: Downs; 6 IP, 0 K
Vandals: Godoyo, 3-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 runs, 3 SB; Schaal, 2-for-4, 4 RBI, run, SB; Murrell, 2-for-3, 2B, BB; Metzger, 1-for-3, 2 runs, BB; Michael Wells, 1-for-2, BB; Berning, 2 runs, SB, 2 BB; Josh Lawson, run; Christian Schroeder, run; Carson Smith, run; Dalton Wehrle, BB, HBP.
Record: 7-14 (3-6 SCC)
Thursday, May 3
Mater Dei 11
Vandalia 0
MD: 0-1-3-2-5—11-11-1
VHS: 0-0-0-0-0—0-1-5
WP: Richter; 5 IP, 5 K
LP: Schaal (0-1); 4 IP, 1 K, 9 R, 5 ER, 9 H, 2 BB
Vandals: Berning, 1-for-2, SB; Wehrle, HBP.
Record: 7-15 (3-6 SCC)