Wooden Shoes march past Carlyle and on to the state baseball tournament

News-DemocratMay 27, 2013 

— A year ago, Teutopolis was coming off back-to-back state baseball championships when the Wooden Shoes lost to Wesclin in the Class 2A super-sectional at GCS Ballpark.

Given a chance to make another state trip against another Cahokia Conference team, Teutopolis knocked off Carlyle 5-2 Monday and has a shot at its third state title in four years.

Wooden Shoes pitcher Jared Waldhoff (8-0) allowed two runs and two hits in the second inning, but the Kaskaskia College recruit held Carlyle hitless through six other shutout innings.

"That kid's good," Carlyle coach Dusty Barr said of Waldhoff, who struck out six and held the Indians' top five batters without a hit just two days after his team belted five homers in the sectional championship victory over Du Quoin. "There's nothing to hang your head about when you lose to a good ballclub. We scored two on them today and that's more than anybody's done in the entire postseason."

Southern Illinois University Carbondale pitching recruit Kyle Pruemer added a two-run homer to give Waldhoff more than enough offense.

The game started just after 7 p.m. following a two-hour rain delay, then lasted just 1 hour, 23 minutes.

Teutopolis coach Justin Fleener said it wasn't hard to keep his players occupied during the lengthy rain delay despite having a state tourney trip on the line.

"We just had them stay loose in the dugout," Fleener said. "I think high school kids can do a pretty good job of that on their own. I think it's adults that get more worried about things and let things like that maybe bother us.

"They're high school kids, they're relaxed in there. They're playing games, they've got Gatorade bottles taped on bats."

T-town (29-3) will face Lisle (21-10) in 3 p.m. game Friday at the Class 2A state tournament in Peoria.

Barr felt the Indians, whose season ended at 26-8, had a legitimate shot at a state title.

"I thought we were playing as good as anybody in the state and they're arguably the best team in the state," Barr said. "I thought if we could sneak past these guys we've got a heck of a chance to win the trophy. Now that they got past us and they've got their horse (Pruemer) going on Friday..I don't see too many people stacking up against that."

Teutopolis grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Alex Goldstein.

Carlyle struck for two runs in the second on a two-run double to the gap in right-center by Tommy Cummins.

"When you get two runs with the bottom of your lineup, it makes you think 'Here we go' -- and I think it made them kind of wake up a little bit," Barr said. "From that point going forward (Waldhoff) got better."

Waldhoff escaped further damage and rewarded himself with an RBI single in the second to tie it 2-2.

With two outs, Waldhoff lifted a high fly ball to right field into some heavy wind. The wind knocked the ball down in front of right fielder Cody Huels as Derek Smith scored on the play.

"Right off the bat I thought routine fly ball myself, so the second baseman thinks routine fly ball, (the) right fielder thinks routine fly ball...that play hurts," Barr said. "That stings."

The two early runs were the most allowed by Teutopolis in the playoffs. They entered the super-sectional having outscored their opponents 30-2, so Carlyle doubled the total.

Waldhoff kicked off the bottom of the fifth with a leadoff triple into the right-field corner. He scored on an RBI single by Chase Wendling and Pruemer followed that up with two-run homer right as the Wooden Shoes took a 5-2 lead.

Zachry (6-2) allowed eight hits and five runs before being replaced by Matt Hilmes in the sixth.

"I think he was tired from pitch one," Barr said of Zachry. "I don't think he had his best stuff. He labored and he fought and he still gave us a chance. We're going to get better from this experience...he gave us everything he had."

The victory came nearly a year to the day the Wooden Shoes had their 2012 season ended.

"It feels good to be going back (to state) any time," Fleener said. "Yes it was disappointing last year, but we had a very good year last year. We were 31-9 and we got close, we got to right here and Wesclin was able to move on.

"They were disappointed last year, but I think no matter what would have happened they wanted to get back to state. They would have been just as focused and just as determined to do it again."

Contact reporter Norm Sanders at 239-2454, nsanders@bnd.com or on Twitter @NormSanders

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