In a game heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, a five-run sixth inning propelled the Monticello Sages past the Lincoln Railsplitter 8-2 in non-conference high school boy's baseball action Monday afternoon in Monticello.
Setting up the big sixth inning was a bizarre sequence in the bottom of the fifth inning and the Railers up 2-1. Lincoln's Wyatt Mammen struck out Dawlton Chupp and Joey Sprinkle to start the inning, the two and three hitters in the Monticello lineup. Then with one-ball and two-strike counts on Jacob Trusner, Thomas Swartz, and Spencer Mitze, Mamnen hit each consecutively setting up Eli Craft with the bases loaded and two outs.
During Craft's at-bat allowed, a passed ball first allowed Trusner to score and tie the game at 2-apiece. Then a passed ball three pitches later allowed Swartz to score and give the Sages the lead, 3-2.
Monticello's big sixth inning started with ninth-place hitter Logan Chupp drawing a lead-off walk to lead the inning off. Biniam Lienhart drew a walk to follow Chupp.
The Sages called Tylor Bundy off the bench to pinch-hit for Dawlton Chupp's place in the lineup and the speedy Bundy laid down a perfect bunt up the right side of the infield and there was no play at any base, loading the bases for Joey Sprinkle.
The senior popped a mile-high fly ball to left and was misplayed allowing each runner to move up a base and scored Dylan Brown from third base, running for the catcher Chupp, to make the score 4-2.
With the Railers infield drawn in, Trusner from the cleanup spot hit a flare to right-center field that nearly cleared the bases but Sprinkle was thrown out at the plate by three steps trying to score from first. Lienhart and Bundy scored easily to stretch the Sages advantage to 6-2.
Following Trusner's two-run single, Swartz singled to left, moving Trusner to third base. With Mitze batting, Swartz took off for second base. The throw skipped in to shortstop Andrew Graue and that allowed Trusner to score from third base and make the score 7-2.
The Sages would tack on the final run they'd score when Mitze singled home Swartz to make the score 8-2.
Equally as impressive as the Sages late scoring bursts were sophomore pitchers Luke Teschke and Jacob Long.
Teschke, who earlier last week committed to playing baseball at Illinois State University, pitched into the fifth inning in the third week of the season. The sophomore right-hander struck out nine Railers over 4 1/3 innings, walking three and allowed two unearned runs.
Teschke started the game with a fielding error when Daulton Miller grounded one up the first base line. Teschke's throw was over the head of first basemen Trusner and Miller end up coming around to score when Teschke walked Alex Hoeffert with the bases loaded.
Jaden Leadley started the fifth inning with a strikeout for Lincoln but reached on a passed ball error. He would later come around to score when Sean Raffa singled.
After Leadley reached base, Long relieved Teshke after he recorded his ninth strikeout of Miller. The sophomre southpaw allowed Sean Raffa to single home a run. After the run-scoring single, Trent Koehler's single in the hole at shortstop set up first and second with one out.
On a ground ball to Craft at third base, the freshman made a heads up play to step on the bag and throw across to Trusner at first base to close out the inning with a double play.
Long finished the win out for Monticello going 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief with no walks and four strikeouts. He allowed four hits.
Koehler, who started on the mound for Lincoln, finished 1-for-4. He went four innings, allowing a run on two hits, three walks and struck out ten. Raffa paced the Lincoln offense going 2-for-2 with an RBI and a pair of walks.
Trusner finished 1-for-3 with two runs batted in and two runs scored. Swartz finished 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored, a stolen base, a walk and was hit by a pitch.
Mitze finished 1-for-3 with an RBI for Monticello and Lienhart went 1-for-2 with a walk, two runs scored and a stolen base.
Lincoln drops to 1-2 on the young season while Monticello moves to 6-2.
The Sages travel to Champaign St. Thomas More on Wednesay to open Illini Prairie Conference action.
The next Sages baseball broadcast on 95.9 FM WEZC will be next Thursday when Monticello hosts Olympia.
Hear girl's softball action on WEZC and at dewittdailynews.com this Thursday afternoon when the Lady Sages host Tri-Valley.