Trenton exits tourney with loss to Wheaton

News-DemocratAugust 3, 2013 

— Trenton Post 778 manager Kyle Jones will be seeing line drives in his sleep for awhile.

Looking to prolong its season at least a few more hours, Wheaton Post 76 smashed line drives all over Pete Schumacher Field on Friday afternoon, finishing with 17 hits as it posted a 13-7 win over Trenton in an elimination game at the American Legion State Tournament.

The top three hitters in Wheaton's batting order, Brandon Kressner, River Williams and Thomas Colletti, combined for nine hits and seven RBIs.

Wheaton also took advantage of six Trenton errors, as to scored in seven of the nine innings to advance into a semifinal against Moline.

And of the 17 hits, there wasn't a bleeder or a blooper in the bunch.

"These guys and all the teams here hit the ball very hard and it makes it more difficult to field the ball when they are hitting line drives at you," Jones said. "Our guys are used to fielding hard-hit balls, but these guys are hitting line drives almost every single at bat.

"We made some mistakes, but you can't just blame the defense. They (Wheaton) really hit the baseball."

With a bid in the title game and a berth in the Great Lakes Regional on the line, Wheaton (36-13) played Moline late Friday, only to have the game suspended by rain in the fourth inning with Moline leading 5-3.

The game will be resumed at 11 a.m. Saturday with the title game to follow. The lone undefeated team remaining in the double-elimination event, Edwardsville punched its ticket for the regional with an 11-0 win over Moline on Friday.

The Great Lakes Regional begins Wednesday in Terre Haute, Ind.

On Friday, Wheaton gave an early indication of things to come when it took advantage of three Trenton errors in the first inning to take a 4-0 lead.

Catcher Jeff LePage had a two-run single for Wheaton, which added two runs in the second on a two-run single by Williams and added a run in the third to go up 7-0.

But Trenton (18-15) didn't quit.

Getting a two-run triple from Brady Kunz and a run-scoring single by Michael Klein, the host team cut the lead to 7-3 after three innings.

The triple by Kunz was one of eight hits he had in Trenton's three tournament games.

"There is no question Brady (Kunz) was our most valuable player in the tournament,'' Jones said. "Offensively, he was just outstanding, but he also made a couple of nice catches in the outfield.

"Overall, he just had a very nice tournament. He's really improved as a ballplayer and I think he has a chance to play at the next level if he keeps working on it.''

Trenton would get no closer than 8-4, as Colletti allowed just one run over the next five innings.

Ryan Meddows was the losing pitcher for Trenton, allowing 10 runs (six earned) in 4 1/3 innings.

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