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Regional Champs

 

Vandalia defeated Salem, 2-0, on Monday to win the championship of the Vandalia Regional and claim the school’s first regional championship in baseball. Above, in front, from right to left, are Carson Lotz, Cayden Hipsher, Owen Miller, Derek Warren and Chase McNary. In back are assistant coach Jason Colingwood, Aiden Politte, Reid Well, Matthew Hagy, Andrew Kelly, Aydan Jones, Jaydon Lotz, Bryant Willms, Conner

Well tosses another complete game gem as Vandals win school’s 1st regional baseball title

By RICH BAUER
Correspondent

Though it hovered around the .500 mark through much of the regular season, this year’s edition of the Vandalia Vandals baseball accomplished something that none of its predecessors had.

The Vandals shut out Salem, 2-0, on Monday afternoon at Vandalia Mutual Insurance Field to win the school’s first regional title in baseball.

Throwing his second complete game in a week, Reid Well held the Wildcats to just two hits.

Meanwhile, Owen Miller, Derek Warren and Matthew Hagy provided the two runs needed to secure the regional title.
Miller led off the third inning with a triple, then scored on a single by Warren. Hagy then drove in Warren for the final run of the game.
The Vandals earned a date with Columbia in the semifinal round of the Teutopolis Sectional this Wednesday.

Well’s complete-game win came a week after the Vandals defeated rival Greenville in the first round of postseason play.
Jaydon Lotz followed up with a complete-game shutout over Paris, the No. 1 seed in the Vandals’ bracket.

“It’s really too fresh to understand the perspective,” Vandals coach Nick Casey said.

Reid Well celebrates with catcher Aiden Politte after finishing up a complete-game win in the championship game on Monday.

“We played clean baseball, our pitching was great and we got the hits when we needed them. We didn’t strikeout a bunch,” he said.

“It’s like they flipped a switch, and I don’t know how they do it. Typically, you can’t do that, but they did it this time,” Casey said.

“We were .500 all year, back and forth,” he said.

“We went into the season thinking that our pitching was going to be our strength and our hitting was going to be our weakness, and it turned out the opposite midway through the season.

“And in the last two games, we threw shutouts,” Casey said. “I don’t know, I just don’t know (how this turned out).”
His pitchers throwing three complete games thus far in the postseason has allowed the coaches’ rotation plans to work out well.
“We made the decision a couple of weeks ago, because Jaydon had just pitched against Greenville, we decided that we were not going to pitch him (against them) again, flip the rotation, then it was just set up from then on, it was going to be Reid, Jaydon, Reid, Jaydon, Reid Jaydon the rest of the time,” Casey said.

“And it just worked out was fine,” he said.

“Jaydon is eligible for Wednesday now, too.

“We haven’t done that all year,” Casey said. “Jaydon usually struggles with the pitch count, and Reid doesn’t.

“Of course, we had 115 pitches (15 more than the regular season), so that helps. Typically, he (Jaydon) is done in the fourth or fifth inning, and he went seven with the extra 15,” Casey said.

About winning the regional championship, Well said, “It’s awesome – I can’t believe it.”

He said that he started feeling a little nervous “in the fifth, sixth and seventh, especially in the seventh.

“When there was a person on first and second, it started getting scary, but we pulled through,” Well said.

Acknowledging that this has been a team that has been one that hasn’t always been consistent, Well could easily explain the team’s postseason run to a regional title.

“We wanted it the most,” he said.

“We wanted this from first grade on and we made sure we were going to get it,” Well said.

Vandalia – J. Lotz 3-3, double; Hagy 0-3, RBI; Ruot 0-2, walk; Well 0-3; Ray 1-3; Politte 1-3; Jones 0-3; Miller 1-3, run, triple, RBI; Warren 1-2, run, RBI.

Pitching – Well (W)-7 innings, 0 runs, 2 hits, 7 strikeouts, 3 walks.