VANDALIA – If Matt Beck continues responded like he did last Saturday, coach Luke Hohlt may need to bench him more often.
With so many players deserving of playing time, Beck was the odd man out last Friday, sitting out his first game of the season.
But he took his assignment without complaint, and then followed it up with three hits in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, an 8-6 win against Brownstown/St. Elmo, Vandalia's third straight victory.
“Last game, he wasn’t in the lineup, and he stands up at the edge of the dugout, cheering his teammates on,” said coach Luke Hohlt. “He’s a true team kid. There’s no doubt that he wants to be in the lineup, but the times we ask him to sit, he is all about the team.
“He sat yesterday in a big conference game, but he comes out today ready to go and hits the ball all over the place,” he said. “By his actions when he is not playing, he is a team player, and a team player will do whatever he can to help the team win.”
Beck has hit in just three of seven games, but has four RBI and nine runs.
He delivered a key double in the fourth inning against BSE, driving home junior Adam Palmer for what would prove to be the winning run, and he later scored an insurance run on an error.
Junior Zach Schaal and Jake Bowen each had two hits for the Vandals (5-2), and junior Jake Stewart and freshman Richie Well had RBI singles.
Bowen earned the win, striking out two over 4 2/3 innings, and Schaal retired the three batters he faced in the seventh to get the save.
Sophomore Malachi Maxey went 2-for-4, with two RBI for Brownstown/St. Elmo (4-6), and senior Levi Maxey was 2-for-5, with a double and an RBI.
The teams traded the lead over the first two innings, but the Vandals got three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take an 8-4 advantage.
BSE halved that lead with two runs in the fifth, but couldn’t add runs in the final two frames, despite getting two runners on in each inning.
Saturday, April 12
WP: Bowen (2-0); 4 2/3 IP, 2 K
LP: Dalton Parks (0-1); 2 2/3 IP, 2 K
SV: Schaal (1); 1 IP, 2 K
Vandals: Beck, 3-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, 3 runs, 2 SB; Bowen, 2-for-4, 2B; Schaal, 2-for-4, run; Smith, 1-for-3, RBI, sac fly; Stewart, 1-for-3, RBI, run, BB; Well, 1-for-4, RBI; Collin Nestleroad, 3 BB, run, RBI, SB; Colin Ledbetter, 2 BB; Palmer, run, BB, SB; Preston Ruckman, run.
Bombers: M. Maxey, 2-for-4, 2 RBI, run; L. Maxey, 2-for-5, 2B, RBI; Jacob Behrends, 1-for-3, run, BB; Noah Flowers, 1-for-2, run, 2 BB; Landon Feezel, 1-for-2, 2 BB; Parks, 1-for-5; Drake Hall, RBI, BB; Nick Bauer, 2 BB, HBP; Dustin Lawson, BB.
In game two of Saturday’s doubleheader, the Vandals were unable to continue their winning streak with an 11-3 loss to Okawville.
All but Okawville’s No. 9 hitter had a hit in the game, and four Rockets had a multi-hit game, while the Vandals had just four hits, including two doubles for senior Carson Smith.
Junior Collin Nestleroad had an RBI double and three steals, and junior Adam Palmer also had a single.
Saturday, April 12
WP: Furhop; 4 IP, 8 K
LP: Beck (0-1); 3 2/3 IP, 2 K
Vandals: Smith, 2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 SB; Nestleroad, 1-for-2, 2B, RBI, 3 SB, BB; Palmer, 1-for-1; Zach Schaal, run, SB; Beck, run, BB; Tucker Willms, 2 BB; Jake Bowen, BB.
VANDALIA – Senior Colin Ledbetter delivered a walk-off single, scoring junior Drake Dokey from second base to end last Wednesday’s wild 14-13 win against Mulberry Grove.
Junior Zach Schaal had his second 4-for-4 game on the season, and Ledbetter had three RBI for the Vandals (3-2), who beat Mulberry Grove for the second time this season.
The Aces led 11-2 after the top of the third inning, but the Vandals had 11 runs over the next four innings to tie the game at 13.
“You don’t want to play from behind all the time, but when you have a win like that, it’s a morale-booster,” said coach Luke Hohlt.
Wednesday, April 9
Mulberry Grove 13
WP: Schaal; 1 IP, 2 K
LP: Alex Goodin; 2 1/3 IP, 4 K
Vandals: Schaal, 4-for-4, RBI, 4 runs; Ledbetter, 2-for-4, 3 RBI; Carson Smith, 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, run; Matt Beck, 1-for-3, RBI, 3 runs; Adam Palmer, 1-for-4, 2 runs; Preston Ruckman, 1-for-1, 2B, 2 RBI; Richie Well, 1-for-2, RBI, run; Drake Dokey, 1-for-2, run; Jake Stewart, 1-for-2; Jake Shulman, RBI, run; Collin Nestleroad, run.
Aces: Nate Ketchem, 2-for-5, 2 RBI, run; Goodin, 1-for-2, 2 RBI, run; Michael Sloan, 1-for-2, 2B, RBI, 3 runs; Jake Linnabary, 1-for-2, RBI, 2 runs; Kyle Klawitter, 1-for-4, RBI, run; Derek Childress, 1-for-5, RBI; James Willis, 1-for-3, run; Matt Korte, 1-for-3, run; Noah Murray, 1-for-2, RBI, 3 runs.