By Steve Joos.
The St. Wendel Babe Ruth League baseball team fell behind early Thursday night and never recovered, losing a make up game with visiting Haubstadt Legion 7-5.
The loss dropped St. Wendel to 17-6 on the season and gave Legion a share of the regular season crown.
Damon Cardin doubled and drove in three runs as St. Wendel tried to mount a comeback, but came up short in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Josh Elpers singled, as did Josh Cook and Bryce Koester, whose single helped start a late rally.
St. Wendel started its week by pounding Haubstadt Merchants 17-2 and then toppled North Posey Red on Wednesday 9-6.
Against Merchants, Jacob McClain doubled and drove in three runs, while collecting three hits. Cook and Jake Wenderoth each collected two hits, while Elpers, Cardin, Derek Lindauer, Noah Scheller and Joel Kelly each had one. Lindauer’s blow was a double.
St. Wendel coach Gene Wildeman was pleased with the way his team has been playing over the last week.
At North Posey, St. Wendel scored the first two runs of the game, but Red came back with five in the bottom of the first to open a 5-2 lead, only to have St. Wendel bat around in the top of the second and go up 6-5.
They never looked back, taking advantage of 11 walks or hit batsmen allowed by Red pitching. St. Wendel drew three walks, while Cardin was hit by a pitch in the second, which were sandwiched around a single by Elpers and a double by Lindauer. St. Wendel tacked on some insurance runs in the third and sixth innings.
Lindauer doubled, while Elpers and Wildeman each singled. McClain had two hits, including a double. Cook collected three hits.
Red coach Rob Voegel was pleased with some of the things his team did Wednesday, but felt that the pitchers could have done a better job of throwing strikes. He was pleased with the defense and felt that the team needed to hit better in some situations. Red had won three of its previous four games heading into Wednesday’s contest.
Zach Stoneberger’s two-run double was the big blow in Red’s first-inning outburst.
After the first inning, Red didn’t score again until the bottom of the sixth, when Conner Voegel singled, Bo Cox forced him at second and then the Red catcher took second on a wild pickoff try before coming around on a two-out single by Stoneberger.
Red came into the week on a roll, winning three out of four, including recent wins over Owensville 9-4 and Haubstadt Merchants 13-6.
“We played well,” Voegel said. “Zac Stoneberger pitched; he got back from a shoulder injury and pitched well, pitching the first three innings. Connor Voegel pitched the last four; I thought we did a lot better job throwing strikes. We still made some errors, but we’re playing better defense. We did a better job of putting the bat on the ball tonight.”
Connor Voegel swung a strong stick in addition to his efforts on the mound with three hits, including a pair of doubles. Cox also collected three blows with a pair of doubles, while Grant Scheller had two hits. Stoneberger, Michael Sims, Dylan Rankin and Glen Alexander each had singles, while Ryan Daugherty doubled.
Red jumped out to a big early lead and then Voegel started substituting, which allowed Merchants to get back into the game.
At Owensville, Scheller went the distance, keeping the ball down and changing speeds in hurling just the second seven-inning complete game turned in by Red pitchers this season.
Cox had three hits, while Caleb O’Risky collected two, with Cox and O’Risky each collecting doubles. Dylan Rankin also had two hits, while Connor Voegel, Daugherty, Scheller, Christian Lebhart and Sims each singled.