Effingham PAC Wraps Up Summer Season

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Published on July 25 2012 12:42 pm
Last Updated on July 25 2012 12:42 pm
Written by Millie Lange

The Effingham Premier Athletic Club (PAC) 15U baseball team wrapped up its summer season in Chesterfield, Mo., this weekend, reaching the semifinals of the 18-team field at the Greater Midwest Baseball Wood Bat World Series before bowing out to the eventual champions.

Effingham got off to an inauspicious start, losing 8-0 to the Missouri Gunners Friday evening. On Saturday, the PAC club bounced back with an 8-3 victory over the Kankakee Thunderbirds and an 18-1 thrashing of the BNBA Renegades.

That 2-1 finish in preliminary play was good enough to net the PAC a No. 7 seeding; the top eight teams in the field advanced to the championship bracket. Effingham's Sunday quarterfinal pitted it against an opponent it had faced two weeks earlier, the Calhoun Crush. After needing a five-run rally in its final at-bat to prevail in that previous contest, Effingham prevailed 8-3 the second time around.

Semifinal play against the Missouri Bulls didn't go quite as well unfortunately, as the PAC fell 9-3 and a game shy of the championship game. The Bulls went on to claim the tournament title later that evening.

After some early growing pains against quality competition from across the Midwest, the PAC team closed out its season in strong fashion with victories in 10 of its final 13 games and a final mark of 14-12. That includes championship hardware from tournaments in Lake Saint Louis, Mo., and Jacksonville.

Team members are: Braydon Bone (EHS), Kevin Daugherty (EHS), Logan Johnson (Robinson), Conner Greene (St. Anthony), Rex Grissom (Robinson), Austin Hartke (Teutopolis), Adam Koester (EHS), Tristan Litaker (Flora), Jacob Lorenz (St. Anthony), Brennan Poland (EHS), Damian Riveria (Puerto Rico), Swayde Sanders (EHS) and Jordan Thoele (Teutopolis).

Friday

The Gunners racked up five tallies in the top of the first inning and never looked back, while Bone's third-inning single was Effingham's only hit. Koester also reached base on an error in that third inning, but the PAC's best scoring opportunity didn't bear fruit. Johnson and Thoele combined for four innings of solid relief as Effingham used four pitchers to keep the staff healthy for the rest of the weekend.

Missouri Gunners    500    102    —    8-12-1
Effingham PAC        000    000    —    0-  1-1
Effingham PAC Pitching — Poland (LP), 1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K; Johnson, 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K; Thoele, 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K; Sanders, 1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Effingham Offense — Bone, 1-for-2

Saturday - Game One

This matchup was scoreless for three innings before each team scored a run in the fourth. Effingham then blew it wide open with a seven-run fifth and held on for the win despite a couple Thunderbird tallies in the top of the sixth, the final inning due to a 1 hour, 40 minute time limit.

Thoele and Johnson hit back-to-back doubles to start the frame before Litaker walked to load the bases. Riveria drew an RBI walk to put PAC ahead for good. A two-run wild pitch followed, with Litaker's heads-up baserunning allowing him to come around from second base. Koester added an RBI base hit, Greene tripled him in, Lorenz doubled Greene in, and Bone singled Lorenz home to cap the scoring.

It was also a good day on the mound for Thoele, who allowed a single run in five innings, walking three and strking out five. Greene and Lorenz each had two-hit games.

Kankakee Thunderbirds    000    102    —    3-6-0
Effingham PAC                   000    17x    —    8-8-2
PAC Pitching — Thoele (WP), 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K; Riveria, 0.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K; Johnson, 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB
PAC Offense — Lorenz, 2-for-3, double, RBI, run; Bone, 1-for-3, 2 RBIs; Thoele, 1-for-2, double; Johnson, 1-for-2, double, run; Litkaker, walk, run; Riveria, walk, run, RBI; Koester, 1-for-2, run, 2 RBIs;; Greene, 2-for-2, RBI, 2 runs; Poland, run

Saturday - Game Two

PAC scored in all four of its at-bats, including an 11-run inning during which it drew six walks or hit batters and reached on three additional errors.

Grissom was 1-for-2 with a two-run triple and four RBIs altogether, while Poland was 2-for-3 with three driven in and two more scored. Greene and Thoele each had multi-hit games as well; Thoele was 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Green was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Johnson was hit by a pitch three times and ended up tallying a run each time.

Koester tossed three innings of rock-solid shutout relief to snare the win in his first extended pitching performance of the summer.

Effingham PAC        313    (11)    —    18-10-1
BNBA Renegades    100        0      —      1-  2-6
PAC Pitching — Grissom, 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; Koester (WP), 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K
PAC Offense — Lorenz, 1-for-3, double, RBI, 2 runs, walk; Bone, walk, run, sac bunt; Thoele, 2-for-2, RBI, 2 runs, walk; Johnson, 3 HBP, RBI; Litaker, walk, run; Grissom, 1-for-2, triple, 2 runs, walk, 4 RBIs; Riveria, 1-for-3, RBI, run; Greene, 2-for-3, 2 RBIs, run; Koester, 1-for-2, RBI, 2 runs, walk; Koester, 1-for-2, triple, RBI, 2 R, walk; Poland, 2-for-3, 3 RBIs, 2 R; Sanders, walk, run, RBI

Sunday - Championship Quarterfinal

This was a second 8-3 PAC win that wasn't as close as the final score indicated; Effingham led 8-0 going into the Crush's final raps. Unfortunately, Johnson's shutout came to an end in that final frame, although the most important thing was getting Effingham into the tourney's final four.

Johnson ended up scattering seven hits and a walk in his six innings of work, striking out four. Thoele was 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a run scored, while Greene and Sanders were each 1-for-2 with two runs scored.

Effingham PAC    001    331    —    8-7-1
Calhoun Crush    000    003    —    3-7-4
PAC Pitching — Johnson (WP), 6 IP, 7 H, 3 runs, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
PAC Offense — Lorenz, 1-for-3, run, walk; Bone, walk, sac bunt; Thoele, 2-for-3, double, RBI, run, walk; Grissom, walk, run; Hartke, 1-for-1, walk; Koester, 1-for-2, walk, RBI; Litaker, walk, run; Greene, 1-for-2, 2 runs, walk; Sanders, 1-for-2, 2 runs, RBI

Sunday - Championship Semifinal

Effingham ran up against one of the stronger pitchers it saw all summer and gave him some early hassles after falling behind 2-0 in the first inning. PAC tied it in the top of the second only to see the Bulls stack up two more in their half and another pair in the fourth to make it 6-3. A three-run sixth ended Effingham's chances at a third straight tournament championship.

Thoele, Johnson and Grissom were each 1-for-3 for Effingham, while Johnson, Grissom and Greene each scored a run. Riveria, Sanders and Poland each had one RBI; Sanders was on base twice with a pair of walks.

Effingham PAC    020    100    0    —    3-  3- 3
Missouri Bulls      220    203    x    —    9-11-1
PAC Pitching — Grissom (LP), 4 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K; Poland, 2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), BB
PAC Offense — Thoele, 1-for-3; Johnson, 1 for-3, run; Grissom, 1-for-3; Greene, walk, run; Riveria, RBI; Sanders, 2 walks, RBI; Poland, RBI