PAC 15-Year-Olds Win AA Championship at GMB World Series

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Published on July 10 2012 7:40 pm
Last Updated on July 25 2012 2:42 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Effingham Premier Athletic Club (PAC) 15-year-old baseball team had a successful weekend in Missouri, traveling to Lake St. Louis and Bridgeton to win four of six games at the 2012 Greater Midwest Baseball World Series and secure the AA Championship with three straight Sunday victories after a 1-2 run in earlier pool play.

(THE EFFINGHAM PREMIER ATHLETIC CLUB 15-YEAR-OLDS...FRONT ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: BRENNAN POLAND, LOGAN JOHNSON, JACOB LORENZ, ADAM KOESTER, SWAYDE SANDERS AND CONNER GREENE...BACK ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: HEAD COACH KENNY MILLER, TRISTAN LITAKER, AUSTIN HARTKE, KEVIN DAUGHERTY, JORDAN THOELE, REX GRISSOM, BRAYDON BONE, DAMIAN RIVERIA AND ASSISTANT COACH DUSTIN WHITE)

Effingham opened Friday with a pair of games, dropping a tight 3-2 decision to the Chicago All-Area Giants — the eventual pool winner with a 3-0 pool play record— before scoring five times in its final at bat to defeat the Calhoun Crush 5-4. It followed that effort up Saturday with a 12-9 loss to the St. Louis Naturals, who also went 3-0 in pool play but had to settle for second place because the Giants held the tiebreaker.  While the Giants and Naturals were among the eight teams to play for the AAA Championship, Effingham entered the AA brackets and won three in a row Sunday to end the weekend on an impressive note. The day began with a 5-4 victory over the Central Illinois Predators before clubbing the St. Louis Redbirds 12-0 and holding off the SEMO Scrappers 3-2.

The PAC 15s will be in action again this weekend, traveling to the Lenz Field complex in Jacksonville for tournament play. Pool play will include a 6 p.m. Friday game followed by 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. contests Saturday.

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Friday
At Lake St. Louis
Pool Play - Game 1

Effingham grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the second and played error-free defense all game, but the Giants got one back in the bottom of the same frame and then scratched out a pair of scores in the fifth to secure the win.

Logan Johnson pitched well for the PAC squad despite the loss, while Conner Greene hit an RBI double and later scored in that second inning. Braydon Bone, Jordan Thoele, Johnson, Austin Hartke, and Damian Riveria all had hits as well.

Effingham PAC 020 000 0 — 2-6-0
Chicago Giants 010 020 x — 3-8-3
LP — Johnson (6 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)
PAC Offense — Bone, 1-for-3; Thoele, 1-for-2, walk; Johnson, 1-for-2; Hartke, 1-
for-3, run; Sanders, walk; Greene, 1-for-3, run, RBI; Riveria, 1-for-2

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Friday
At Lake St. Louis
Pool Play - Game 2

Things looked grim for Effingham as it trailed 4-0 going into the bottom of the fifth inning, which was to be its last chance as a 1 hour, 40 minute time limit was in effect. The PAC 15s fell behind 3-0 in the second inning, and starter Riveria, who injured his ankle stealing second base in the day's opener, was forced out of the game after attempting to do the pitching. Brennan Poland took the hill with nobody out in the second and limited the Crush to just one more tally; his pitching efforts, combined with a fantastic catch by left fielder Rex Grissom, kept Effingham just close enough to mount its dramatic game-winning rally.

Hartke opened that final frame with a leadoff double, which was followed by a sharp single up the middle from Swayde Sanders and an RBI double down the left field line for Tristan Litaker. Greene, running for Sanders, later scored on a wild pitch. With two outs, Thoele and Kevin Daugherty each drew RBI walks to knot the score. Calhoun finally pulled its starting pitcher, but Johnson lined the reliever's first offering into left center field for a walkoff hit.

Calhoun Crush 030 01 — 4-6-2
Effingham PAC 000 05 — 5-5-1
WP — Poland (4 IP in relief, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 3 K)
PAC Offense — Lorenz, walk, run; Koester, 2 walks, run; Bone, wake, run;
Thoele, 2 walks, RBI; Daugherty, 2 walks, RBI; Johnson, 2-for-3, RBI; Hartke, 1-
for-2; Sanders, 1-for-2; Litaker, 1-for-2, RBI; Greene, run

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Saturday
At Bridgeton
Pool Play - Game 3

A seven-run second inning and a late rally weren't enough to get the PAC 15s to 2-1 in pool play. Swayde Sanders, the starting pitcher, took a comebacker off the shin and exited after two innings.

Bone hit a two-run double for Effingham, also drawing a walk on a 1-for-2 day.  Jacob Lorenz was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs, while Poland was 2-for-2 with an RBI and two runs.  Time restrictions ended this matchup after four innings.

STL Naturals 305 4 — 12-9-3
Effingham PAC 070 2 — 9-6-4
LP — Greene.
PAC Offense — Lorenz, 2-for-3, 2 runs, RBI; Koester, RBI; Bone, 1-for-2, double,
walk, 2 RBIs; Johnson, walk; Thoele, RBI, run; Hartke, walk, run; Daugherty,
walk, run, RBI; Grissom, 1-for-2, run; Poland, 2-for-2, 2 runs, RBI

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Sunday
At Lake St. Louis
AA Quarterfinal

Effingham's four-run fourth inning featured back-to-back home runs from Hartke and Litaker. Hartke's was a two-run shot to give the PAC 15s a 3-2 lead, while Litaker's solo shot made it 4-2. Koester singled and scored later on to complete the big frame.

Daugherty pitched 4 2/3 innings in the six-inning affair, while Lorenz was 2-for-3 along with Hartke, who tripled in his first at-bat of the game. Bone also chipped in a double.

Effingham PAC 010 400 — 5-7-1
Central Illinois 110 020 — 4-6-2
WP — Daugherty (4.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 6 K)
Save — Johnson (1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K)
PAC Offense — Lorenz, 2-for-3, RBI; Bone, 1-for-3; Daugherty, walk, 2 runs;
Hartke, 2-for-3, triple, home run, 3, RBIs; 1 run; Litaker, 1-for-2, walk, home run,
run, RBI; Greene, walk; Koester, 1-for-3

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Sunday
At Lake St. Louis
AA Semifinal

PAC's next opponent couldn't solve Thoele, making his first pitching performance of the summer to the tune of a four-hit shutout. In just 65 pitches over six innings, Thoele propelled the Effingham team to the AA championship game.

Effingham already led 6-0 after three frames, but doubled that advantage in the top of the sixth. Thoele struck out three and walked just a couple, while Koester was 2-for-4 with three RBIs on a bases-clearing triple in the top of the sixth. 

Sanders doubled in a pinch-hitting appearance, while Lorenz, Bone, Hartke, Daugherty, Greene and Poland each had one hit.

Effingham PAC 123 006 — 12-10-1
STL Redbirds 000 000 — 0- 4-2
WP — Thoele (6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K)
PAC Offense — Lorenz, 1-for-2, walk, run; Bone, 1-for-3, walk, run, RBI; Hartke,
1-for-2, walk, home run, RBI, runs; Johnson, walk, RBI, run; Thoele, 2 walks,
RBI, run; Daugherty, 1-for-4, run; Litaker, 1-for-3, 2 runs, walk, RBI; Koester, 2-
for-4, triple, 2 runs, 3 RBIs; Poland, 1-for-1, walk, RBI, run; Greene, 1-for-2, RBI;
Sanders, 1-for-1, run

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Sunday
At Lake St. Louis
AA Championship

Grissom turned in Effingham's third solid starting pitching performance of the day and Johnson earned his second save of the day, while the SEMO Scrappers walked eight PAC hitters.

In 5 2/3 innings, Grissom allowed just a hit and five walks. Koester was 2-for-3, while Thoele walked twice and Litaker was 1-for-1 with an RBI and walk. Lorenz was 1-for-3 with a walk and RBI, and Conner Greene added a double in a 1-for-2 day. Daugherty made a diving catch into the fence in the third inning, holding onto the ball but exiting play due to injuries.

SEMO Scrappers 000 001 1 — 2-3-0
Effingham PAC 000 030 x — 3-5-0
WP — Grissom (5.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 1 K)
Save — Johnson (1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER)
PAC Offense — Lorenz, 1-for-3, run, RBI, walk; Bone, 2 walks; Hartke, walk;
Thoele, 2 walks; Johnson, walk, RBI; Koester, 2-for-3, run; Greene 1-for-2,run;
Litaker, 1-for-1, walk, RBI