THS baseball

T-Town’s Lee Hardiek pitched a one-hit shutout, helping the Shoes beat St. Anthony 5-0 to win their own Wooden Bat Tourney.

By Steve Raymond
News Report Staff
The crack of the bat.
That’s something you don’t hear much anymore, especially in high school baseball where aluminum bats are used exclusively.
But that sound from years past was in the air Saturday at the Wooden Bat Tournament, played in Teutopolis.
And it was heard often off the bats of the host Wooden Shoes, who banged out 24 hits and didn’t allow a run in sweeping their two games and claiming the championship of the four-team event.
THS opened with a 13-0 decision over North Clay and then came back to shut out St. Anthony 5-0 in the final game and avenge a 4-1 loss to the Bulldogs earlier in the week.
The Bulldogs defeated Dieterich 11-0 in the second game and North Clay then beat Dieterich 7-3 in the third place contest.
It was a dominant two-game performance by the Shoes.
They scored four runs in the first inning of their opener, came back to tally three times in the first inning against St. Anthony and were never threatened in either game.
In addition to their hitting, T-Town also received two strong pitching performances, allowing just one hit in each of the contests.
Lee Hardiek turned in a masterful seven-inning stint in the championship game. The senior right-hander, making his first start of the fall season, gave up just a third inning single to St. Anthony’s Blake Niebrugge. He mixed his pitches well to strike out five and didn’t walk a batter in his 74-pitch outing.
“He threw a heckuva game,” St. Anthony coach Kenny Koenig. “He throws hard enough you have to be ready for his fastball, but then he dropped that curve ball in for strikes whenever he wanted to. He throws that pitch with a lot of confidence. He kept us off-balance.”
“Lee was really sharp,” THS coach Justin Fleener added. “He located his fastball down and had all three of his pitches (fastball, curve, change-up) working. Plus, he induced a lot of ground ball outs (13 of the 21 outs) and our defense made the plays.”
Hardiek received all the offensive support he needed in the opening inning. Jackson Goeckner continued his hot hitting with a lead-off single off St. Anthony starter Colin Koester. With one out, Cody Jansen was hit by a pitch and Eric Kremer followed with a base hit to drive in Goeckner.
The next hitter, Drew Thoele, then lined a pitch down the left field line for a double that drove in Jansen and Kremer to quickly make it 3-0.
T-Town added single tallies in the fourth and fifth. Collin Funneman led off the bottom of the fourth with a double into the left-centerfield gap. With two outs, Kremer delivered again with an RBI single. The Shoes then tacked on an unearned run in the fifth.
THS had hitting throughout the lineup with Goeckner, Kremer and Funneman each collecting a pair to lead the 14-hit attack.
“That first inning was big for us,” Fleener admitted. “It gave us confidence. We got runners on base, put the bat on the ball and made things happen. I didn’t think switching to the wooden bats bothered us at all. I thought the kids handled that well.”
But Fleener knows there’s still room for improvement.
“We have too many swings and misses,” he noted. “We have to do a better job getting the barrel of the bat on the ball. And we need to be better at driving the ball to get kids in when they get on base.”
“I think our kids enjoyed using the wooden bats,” Koenig said. “I thought we hit the ball pretty well, especially in that first game. And I thought we did a better job against Hardiek the final three or four innings. But there are still a few things we need to clean up.”
The Shoes improved to 4-1, while the Bulldogs dropped to 3-1.

Shoes blank North Clay
Cody Jansen and Eric Kremer combined to drive in seven runs and Ethyn Dust gave up just one hit over four innings as the Wooden Shoes rolled to a 13-0 win over North Clay in Saturday’s first game.
Jansen, who was 3-for-3 at the plate, smacked a two-run double to open the scoring in the first inning. Kremer and Jared Bloemer added RBI singles, as the Shoes jumped to a quick 4-0 lead.
Jansen added run-scoring base hits in the second and third, while Kremer had a two-run single in the team’s five-run third. Bloemer, Kremer and Lee Hardiek each had two hits, as the Shoes piled up 14 for the game, which was stopped after five innings.
Dust tossed 50 pitches in his four innings of work. He gave up a two-out double to North Clay’s Tyson Jones in the third. He struck out seven and walked two. Trenton Schwerdt worked the fifth.

Bulldogs roll past Dieterich
Joseph Kabbes tossed a five-hit shutout and also blasted a home run, leading St. Anthony to an 11-0 decision over Dieterich in the second game Saturday morning.
Kabbes went all five innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out nine while throwing 75 pitches.
The Bulldogs took control early, scoring three runs in the first and following that up with a two-run second and a five-run third.
Colin Koester and Greg Utz both had two hits to lead the 11-hit attack. Kabbes drove in three runs, one on a solo shot in the fifth, while Jacob Guy and Adam Levitt added two RBI.
Bryce McClain had two hits for Dieterich. Briar Schmidt took the loss.