Monticello scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to rally past Pontiac 6-5 in Illini Prairie Confernece high school boy's baseball action from Monticello Monday afternoon from Monticello High School.
In a game heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com, Biniam Lienhart singled in a pair of runs to cap the three-run rally and give the Sages a 6-4 lead heading into the seventh and Spencer Mitze and the Monticello defense closed the door after allowing a run.
In a matchup of Division I starting pitchers, Monticello's Luke Teschke and Pontiac's Henry Brummer dueled through five innings.
Despite allowing an unearned run in the first inning, Teschke recorded the first six outs of his day on strikeouts. After breezing through the second inning, Teschke again ran into trouble in the third when Alex Travino singled to lead off the inning.
Michael Kuska reached on a tough-luck error at shortstop and both runners scored on Brummer's base hit with two outs.
Teschke, who has struggled with walks this season, walked only Tanner Legner to start the fourth and he came around to score on another Trevino base hit a few batters later.
Teschke finished five innings with only one walk and nine strikeouts. He allowed four runs, two were earned and five hits.
While Teschke started strong but faltered later in his outing, Brummer started slow but stronger as his outing went along.
Lienhart reached on an error to start the game but was thrown out at second trying to steal. Brummer would strikeout two in the first inning but each batter went to a 3-ball count.
With Pontiac up 1-0, Brummer labored through the second inning when Jacob Trusner continued his recent hot streak with a bloop single to left to start the inning. On a pitch in the dirt, Trusner moved up to second as catcher Logan Barnett could find the ball at his feet. Jack Buckalew struck out and Thomas Swartz singled moving Trusner to third.
On a wild pitch, Trusner came in to score. Then Tylor Bundy popped a routine, shallow flyball to right field but the pop fly fell in when Legner tripped in the outfield grass going out for the play which allowed Swartz to score and gave the Sages a 2-1 lead.
Brummer exited the game with two outs in the fifth inning after he struck out Bundy and Teschke to start the inning but finished his outing by hitting Lienhart with two outs in the fifth.
After being Bummer was replaced, Lienhart took second on another passed ball and scored on Triston Foran's base hit.
In the sixth inning, Trusner singled to start the inning and was sacrificed to second by Buckalew. Swartz and Eli Craft drew back-to-back walks to load the bases. Dawlton Chupp, hitting for Bundy, appeared to ground into an inning-ending double play but Parker Francis at third bobbled the ground ball moving to his left and had his only play at first getting Chupp for the second out scoring Trusner from third and tied the game at 4.
Mitze walked on four pitches, and Lienhart laced a line drive to right-center field but stopped at first base scoring Swartz and Craft.
Mitze allowed a run in the top of the seventh but finished with two innings of one run ball to pick up the win in relief. He struck out four, walked non and allowed three hits.
Lienhart's big hit and defense at second base earned him the Piatt/DeWitt County ServPro Player of the Game. He finished 1-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and a run scored.
Trusner was 2-for-3 for Monticello with a pair of runs scored.
Pontiac drops to 4-10 overall and 3-3 in the Illini Prairie.
Monticello moves to 14-5 overall and 4-3 in the Illini Prairie Conference.