When all nine hitters in the lineup drive in a run in the same inning, it's a good day at ballpark.
Swansea/Fairview Heights got to experience that offensive rarity Tuesday during an 11-run fourth inning on the way to a 20-3 blowout win over Vandalia at the American Legion Fifth Division Tournament in New Baden.
The Giants (29-9), who won their second straight game at the double-elimination tourney, sent 15 men to the plate in the inning. All nine starters had one RBI.
"It's something you don't see every day," admitted Swansea/Fairview manager Craig Steiner. "This is too good of a hitting team not to be scoring the runs that we should be scoring. We've been waiting for them to break out and they had a little fun today and broke out."
They didn't just break out, they turned the bases into a run-scoring dance marathon that lasted far too long for Vandalia (32-9) and starter Matt Tomazzoli.
Giants with RBI singles in the uprising were Anthony Garza, Hayden Hewitt, Domonic Blaylock, Tanner Hudson, Robert Guithues and Dean Gerros. Kyle Boewe and Collin Holton had RBI doubles while Blake Deatherage also drove in a run.
Swansea/Fairview added four runs in the fifth and five more in the sixth to close out a seven-inning victory with the 10-run rule.
Not bad for a Giants club that had been shut out for the first eight innings Monday in an eventual 3-1 12-inning win over Murphysboro.
"We've been seeing so much good pitching in the last three weeks we'd gotten a little defensive with our hitting," Steiner said. "We wanted to cut down on our swings and make more contact --and we did it today. They got to a good left-handed pitcher and that's something we've needed to do for a couple weeks now."
Vandalia broke on top 2-0 in the second against Giants starter Tyler Scimio thanks to a pair of errors and an RBI single by Dalton Crisman, but Scimio's teammates made short work of that deficit.
Swansea/Fairview Heights will face tourney host New Baden at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Holton continued his hot tourney by going 3-for-5 with a double and two RBIs while Guithues, Deatherage and Gerros each drove in two runs.
Metro-East Bears 3, Carlyle 0
Ray Bailey was large and in charge Tuesday for the Metro-East Bears (23-6), scattering four hits while striking out a season-high 12 batters in a nine-inning complete game to help his team win its tourney opener.
The former Alton High standout recently finished his freshman season at Illinois Central College.
"I throw a lot and I like throwing deep in games," said Bailey, who helped Carlyle (16-12) strand nine runners. "It's always fun to go nine, especially when it's a shutout like that and a close game. Any time you can let up no runs it's a great game."
The Bears will face Olney at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Carlyle left-hander and Quincy University recruit Matt Hilmes also pitched well. He struck out six, but surrendered a run in the second on Kyle Zach's RBI single and two more in the sixth on a two-run homer to left by former Roxana High standout Jordan Briggs.
"You've got to give credit to (Hilmes)," said Briggs, who plays at Lewis & Clark College. "All day he came out and he got ahead of us. He got ahead of me 1-2 and he made a mistake, he left the ball over the plate. It looked good, it felt good off the bat.
"I squared it up for once."
That turned a 1-0 lead into a 3-0 cushion, more than enough support with Bailey dealing nothing but zeros on the mound.
"He had a little bit of extra (today)," Bears manager Ken Schaake said. "It's highly unusual for him to strike out that many people, we usually get a lot of ground balls when he's pitching. It was one of his better efforts."
Schaake began to prepare for relief pitching if needed, but stuck with Bailey.
"How do you take the ball away from a guy that's battled all day like that and given us everything he's got?" Schaake said. "He kept us in the game when it was 0-0, 1-0 ... they had the opportunities and he kept us there."
The Bears improved to 21-0 this season when allowing two runs or fewer. The District 22 champs also own three wins over Swansea/Fairview Heights -- 2-1, 10-0 and 3-1.
"We've survived this far on the pitching and defense," Schaake said. "We haven't had a lot of blowouts."
Logan Zachry had three of Carlyle's four hits.
Down 1-0, Carlyle had a runner on second with no outs when Metro-East left fielder Carter Hayden couldn't haul in a long drive off the bat of Tyson Boehne.
Bailey responded by striking out John Becker, Alex Voss and Adam Alexander in succession to end the threat.
"I kind of think that set the tone a little bit," Carlyle manager Kory Peppenhorst said. "He's on second and we couldn't move him over, we couldn't put the ball in play. He settled in and was throwing a lot of strikes today and we just weren't hitting."
Only one Carlyle runner reached third all day and when it was second and third with two outs in the seventh, Bailey struck out Tommy Cummins.
Not bad for a pitcher who had warts removed from his foot the previous day.
"I have blisters on my feet, actually, right now," Bailey said. "It's just one of those things you've got to play through. It hurts at first, but you keep playing on it and it gets better."
Nothing ever got better for Carlyle, which is 1-1 in the tourney and will face elimination in a 10:30 a.m. game Wednesday.