Buckley Dutchmasters sweep doubleheader with Game Seven, win game one in 12th inning

BUCKLEY -- For the first time this season, the Buckley Dutchmasters swept a played Eastern Illinois Baseball League doubleheader on Sunday.
 
A 3-2 victory over Game Seven -- the team that swept Buckley in the first weekend of the season -- in game one, followed by a 2-0 win in game two, placed the Dutchmasters at the .500 mark with an EI League record of 8-8.
 
"We needed that. We played some clean baseball. I think we only had one error on the day. It was a total team effort in both games. We used a lot of guys on our bench, and anybody we put in there filled their role," Dutchmasters manager Trent Eshleman said. 
 
"There were some great defensive plays. Our substitutes did well. Guys who maybe didn't get hits contributed on the defensive side. It was just a quality win for our young team."
 
***
It took 12 innings for the Dutchmasters to claim their game-one victory.
 
In the bottom of the 12th inning, Josh Krumwiede led off with a line-drive single on a line drive to left field. Quentin Hatfill tried to advance Krumwiede into scoring position, but Krumwiede was forced out on a fielder's choice via a throw from Game Seven third-baseman Jeff Crutcher. 
 
After Hatfill advanced to second base on a wild pitch, Drew Schrodt doubled on a line drive to right field. Although Hatfill was tagged out at home plate via a throw from Daniel Mendoza to Luke Azarelli, Schrodt advanced to third base on the throw.
 
“I was just trying to hit the ball the other way to at least get (Hatfill) to third base," Schrodt said. "That was my approach, anyway. It was big for me to get on third base at the end so we'd have a better chance to get the run in.”
 
Schrodt then crossed home plate for the game-winning run as Alex Mandeville hit a ground ball and reached base on a throwing error by Crutcher.
 
“If they make that error and I'm on second (base), we've still got to keep playing," Schrodt said. “It took 12 innings, but we finally did the job. It was a long game. It was a big win for us.”
 
***
The first game started with three scoreless innings as Andrew Zenner retired Game Seven's first 16 at-bats.
 
“I probably found (my groove) during the second time through the order," Zenner said. "I had a good look at everyone, and we were making a lot of plays behind me, too. It was just an all-around good defensive effort, too. It was just a good game, really.”
 
Zenner, a 2017 Paxton-Buckley-Loda graduate and sophomore-to-be at John A. Logan College, threw 148 pitches through 11 innings, finishing his outing with two runs -- one earned -- allowed on six hits and one walk as he struck out nine batters.
 
“He was outstanding. He was cruising," Trent Eshleman said. "We stretched him out. That's a lot of pitches, but he said his arm is the best it has felt in several weeks, and he didn’t have lot of stretch innings, and he kept wanting to go back out there.
 
"Unfortunately for him, he did not get the win, but there's not much you can say. He's back to the Andrew Zenner we knew at PBL.”
 
Meanwhile, Buckley took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning.
 
Dylan Post drew a leadoff walk before stealing second base and advancing to third on a throwing error by Azarelli. Post then crossed home plate on a Josh Krumwiede groundout to the shortstop Austin Pryblinski.
 
Schrodt reached second base as he hit a ground ball and reached on an error by Pryblinski, but Mandeville grounded out to Crutcher to end the inning.
 
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Mitch Rhoades singled on a line drive to left field. After Rhoades advanced to second base on an error and Jake Stewart was hit by a pitch, Post hit a pop fly with two outs and reached on an error by Crutcher, resulting in Rhoades crossing home plate.
 
Krumwiede grounded out to first-baseman Ryan Bauwman to leave Stewart stranded on second base.
 
After Zenner forced Crutcher to ground out to Buckley third-baseman Cole Eshleman to start the top of the sixth inning, Mendoza hit a ground ball and reached base on an error by the shortstop Mandeville. 
 
That would be the only error committed by the Dutchmasters through the Sunday doubleheader.
 
"We played a clean game and had great pitching out of all our pitchers today. That was a big lift for us," Trent Eshleman said. "When you're having trouble scoring runs, there's a lot of stress on pitching and defense, and everyone came through today."
 
After Mendoza ended Zenner's perfect-game hopes, Kyle Spencer produced Game Seven's first hit via a single to left field, putting runners on the corners.
 
C.J. Falls then doubled on a line drive to left field to send Mendoza across home plate to cut Game Seven's deficit to 2-1.
 
With Spencer on third base and Falls at second, however, Zenner forced Azarelli to pop out in foul territory to Hatfill before striking out Bauwman to leave the runners stranded.
 
Schrodt got on base with an infield single and Mandeville drew a walk with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning before Jay Eshleman lined into a fielder's choice to Mendoza in right field. Rhoades grounded into another fielder's choice to end the inning.
 
Game Seven tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the seventh inning as Brent Beals led off with an infield single and Jon Walters doubled to left field before Pryblinski grounded out to Mandeville to send Beals across home plate.
 
Beals would be left stranded on third base as Zenner caught Crutcher and Mendoza looking at strike three.
 
“I was just trying to do what I was doing all game, really – just trying to throw strikes and hit the corners," Zenner said. "I knew my defense was good behind me, so I just had to minimize the hits, really.”
 
Cole Eshleman and Stewart each drew a walk with nobody out in the bottom of the seventh inning, but Post flied out to Falls in center field, Krumwiede popped out to Pryblinski and Hatfill lined out to Falls in center field to end the inning.
 
The Dutchmasters finished game one leaving 11 runners on base, followed by six runners left on base in game two.
 
"We're kind of struggling offensively with run production," Trent Eshleman said.
 
With two outs in the top of the 10th inning, Mendoza singled on a line drive to shortstop and Spencer drew Zenner's lone yielded walk to put runners on first and second base, but Falls grounded into a fielder's choice to leave the runners stranded.
 
"(Zenner) wasn't losing any velocity," Trent Eshleman said. "His breaking ball was working well. When he got a little tired, we just reminded him to focus on his mechanics, and he did that." 
 
Mandeville hit a two-out single and stole second base in the bottom of the 10th inning, but Jay Eshleman struck out to leave him on base.
 
Azarell flied out to Stewart in center field and Zenner struck Bauwman out swinging for Game Seven's first two outs of the top of the 11th inning. After Beals was beaned by a 3-1 pitch, Walters popped out to Zenner for the third out.
 
After the 11th inning, Zenner was relieved by Rhoades, who would be credited with the win as he allowed no runs on no hits and two walks through the 12th inning.
 
“(My arm's) not doing too bad," Zenner said. "Once I started getting into a groove, I just wasn't really thinking about it. I just knew I was going out for the next inning. I'm just trying to battle and keep the game close.”
 
Stewart hit a two-out triple to left field in the bottom of the 11th inning, but would be left stranded as Post swung and missed at a 3-2 pitch. 
 
In the top of the 12th inning, Rhoades walked Pryblinski, who advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt by Crutcher. After Mendoza grounded out to Hatfill, on which Pryblinski advanced to third base, Kyle Spencer walked to put runners on the corners.
 
Falls flied out to Mandeville to leave the two baserunners stranded.
 
***
Trent Eshleman said he was undecisive about who would be his game-two starting pitcher.
 
Despite nursing some stiffness in his shoulder, Kyle Pool would get the start.
 
“He really couldn't come out of the bullpen, so we gave him the nod in game two," Trent Eshleman said. 
 
Despite Pool's ailment, he and Jim Brandt combined to pitch a five-hit shutout.
 
Pool yielded four hits and no walks with one strikeout through five innings.
 
"He pitched a stellar five innings," Trent Eshleman said.
 
Two of the hits yielded by Pool occurred in the top of the first inning as Falls and Azarelli each singled to left field. After Walters popped out in foul territory to Hatfill, Pryblinski lined into a double play to Mandeville.
 
The Dutchmasters then took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
 
Krumwiede reached base on an infield single with two outs and Hatfill followed with a base hit to center field before Krumwiede advanced to third base on an error by Falls and crossed home plate as Schrodt lined a base hit to left field.
 
Logan Talkington hit an infield single and Crutcher lined a base hit to center field for Game Seven with one out in the second inning, but Mendoza grounded into a fielder's choice double play.
 
After beaning Spencer to lead off the top of the third inning, Pool retired Game Seven's next nine at-bats as Falls flied out to Post in left field and Azarelli and Walters each flied out to Stewart in center field to end the top of the third. 
 
In the top of the fourth inning, Pryblinski popped out to Mandeville before Pool struck out Bauwman looking and Talkington flied out to Stewart. In the fifth inning, Crutcher grounded out to Rhoades at third base, Mendoza popped out to Rhoades and Spencer grounded out to Krumwiede at second base.
 
Brandt pitched the final two innings for Buckley. He picked up the save as he allowed one hit and no walks with one strikeout.
 
“We needed to get him some work. Kyle didn't want to stretch it out too far with the stiffness in his shoulder, so we brought in Jimmy," Trent Eshleman said.
 
Brandt struck out Falls to start the top of the sixth inning and forced Azarelli to line out to Schrodt in right field for the second out. After Walters singled to left field, Pryblinski flied out to Schrodt for the third out.
 
In the top of the seventh inning, Bauwman flied out to Post, Talkington flied out to Stewart and Crutcher grounded out to Brandt to end the game.
 
The Dutchmasters scored an insurance run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
 
Schrodt -- who would finish game two hitting 3-for-3 -- lined a leadoff base hit to left field. With two outs, Schrodt crossed home plate as Rhoades singled on a line drive to left field.
 
***
The Dutchmasters have five regular-season EI League games remaining, including the EI League Jamboree on July 29.
 
They will travel to Gifford to face the Royals (11-5) next Sunday.
 
"Hopefully, this sweep can propel us into the last two weeks of the season and the Jamboree, and maybe give us an opportunity to move up in the standings come tournament time," Trent Eshleman said.
 
Game 1
Buckley Dutchmasters 3, Game Seven 2
GMSV 000 001 100 000 -- 2 6 5
BUCK 000 110 000 001 -- 3 7 1
W -- Mitch Rhoades, IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 K, 2 BB. L -- Talkington, 1.2 IP, 3 H, R, 0 ER, K, 0 BB. 
Game Seven -- Falls 2-6, 2B, RBI. Beals 1-4, R. Walters 1-5, 2B. Pryblinski RBI. Mendoza 1-5, R.
Buckley (9-11, 8-8 EI League) -- Jake Stewart 1-4, 3B. Dylan Post R. Josh Krumwiede 1-6, RBI. Drew Schrodt 2-6, 2B, R. Alex Mandeville 1-4. Mitch Rhoades 2-4, R.
Game 2
Buckley Dutchmasters 2, Game Seven 0
GMSV 000   000   0   -- 0   5   1
BUCK 100   100   x   -- 2   7   0
W -- Kyle Pool, 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, K, 0 BB. S -- Jim Brandt, 2 IP, H, 0 R, K, 0 BB.
Game Seven (5-11) -- Falls 1-3. Azarelli 1-3. Walters 1-3. Talkington 1-3. Crutcher 1-3.
Buckley (8-8) -- Jake Stewart 1-3, 2B. Josh Krumwiede 1-3, R. Quentin Hatfill 1-3. Drew Schrodt 3-3, RBI, R. Mitch Rhoades 1-3, RBI. 
Categories (3):Prep Sports, Baseball, Sports

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