In a game heard on WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, Luke Teschke struck out a career-best 15 and overcame a late three-run home run with two outs in the top of the 7th inning to lead Monticello by Tolono Unity 4-3 in an Illini Prairie Conference showdown at Monticello High School Thursday afternoon.
Teschke was outstanding through 6 2/3 innings. He walked two batters in the seventh inning and Aiden Porter put a deep drive into a wind blowing out to left field that cleared the left field fence to bring the Rockets within 4-3 but Teschke struck out his 15th batter to preserve the win for the Sages.
Wade Carroll brought home two with two outs in the bottom of the second inning to put Monticello up 2-0.
Logan Chupp came off the bench hitting for Jack Buckalew in the three-spot in the lineup and hit a two-run double to put Monticello up 4-0.
That proved to be the game-winner for the Sages.
Teschke set down 14 in a row at one point between fielding errors.
In the top of the sixth, the Rockets started the inning when Gavin Moore reached base on misplayed ground ball to first base. With two outs, Easton Cunningham singled to right field and Moore tried to take third base on the play but a well-executed relay started by right fielder Ike Young and finished off by second baseman Biniam Lienhart beat Moore to third base by a step-and-a-half and ended the Rockets best chance of the day to that point.
Freshman Tre Hoggard was very good for Unity Wednesday. While charged with all four runs, he located a sweeping breaking ball all over the zone and struck out three. He permitted five hits and walked two.
Jacob Trusner and Colton Vance each finished 2-for-3 for the Sages.
Teschke's career-high for strikeouts earned him the ServPro of Piatt/DeWitt County Player of the Game.
The Rockets fall to 10-1 overall and move to 3-1 in the Illini Prairie Conference.
The Sages improve to 10-1 overall and move to 4-0 in the Illini Praire.
Monticello will host Williamsville on Saturday and then travel to Forsyth for a non-conference tilt with Maroa-Forsyth. The Trojans knocked off Monticello 4-3 in a Supersectional classic in Springfield last spring.
Hear more Sages baseball on WEZC next week when they host Paxton-Buckley-Loda in an Illini Conference matchup at Monticello High School. Game time is 4:30 pm.