CITY SERIES: Offense erupts in the fifth for St. Anthony; Lauritzen shines on the mound in Game 1 as Bulldogs defeat Effingham to win City Series

May 13—EFFINGHAM — The senior class couldn't help but scream.

For a second straight year, another group was able to go out on top.

This time, it was Jordan Jones, Nick Ruholl, Max Koenig, Beau Adams and Connor Roepke who were front-and-center to accept the City Series plaque after the St. Anthony baseball team defeated Effingham to win the City Series.

"It's great, this is what you dream of as soon as you're a freshman all the way through your high school career," Adams said. "This is awesome, playing against buddies that you've played against for years and years."

"Definitely wanted to win it," Koenig continued. "You always want to go out on top, especially against guys I've been playing baseball against since I was eight."

The Bulldogs won the first game, 3-0, and the second, 9-3.

Aiden Lauritzen tossed a no-hitter in the first game. He allowed three walks to 11 strikeouts and threw 99 pitches, 62 for strikes.

"Dominant from the first pitch," St. Anthony head coach Tony Kreke said. "He had a presence on the mound and he's been doing that all year. He gets out there and gets the ball and he has a great pace. He's been a great student of the game. He really soaks up a lot and he's applying it on the mound."

The Bulldogs scored their first run in the third inning and two more in the sixth.

Adams started the third with a single. Lauritzen was then hit by a pitch and Brock Fearday flew out, allowing Adams to tag from second and move to third. Roepke then hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Adams for the game's first run.

Then, in the sixth, Henry Brent started with a single. Koenig then grounded out, allowing Brent to move to second. Adams then hit an RBI double and later scored after Lauritzen reached on an error.

Adams finished with two hits. Lauritzen, Roepke, Sam Link and Brent had one.

Brock Fearday followed Lauritzen's performance by opening Game 2 with a strikeout of Kaiden Nichols and a ground out of Kaden Koeberlein. Camden Raddatz then hit a single, but Colton Webb grounded out to retire the side.

Adams started the bottom of the first with a base hit. Lauritzen then grounded into a fielder's choice, beating the throw at first and was later tagged out trying to steal second.

Fearday then drew a walk, but Roepke flew out to end the inning.

Spencer Fox hit a one-out single to start the second. Brody Boehm struck out and Fox was caught stealing second to end the stanza.

The Bulldogs hit back-to-back singles to start the bottom half of the frame. Hatton and Link provided the hits before Will Fearday struck out, Brent grounded out and Koenig flew out to end the scare.

Fearday worked a seamless top of the third, getting Braden Verdeyen to strike out, Jude Traub to fly out and Nichols to ground out.

Adams and Lauritzen both flew out to start the bottom of the third. Fearday then reached on an error and courtesy runner Ryan Schmidt stole second before scoring on a single by Roepke. Hatton followed with a single before Link flew out to retire the side.

Brock Fearday then got Koeberlien to ground out, Raddatz to strike out and Webb to ground out.

Nichols returned the favor by getting Will Fearday and Brent to fly out and Koenig to ground out.

Fox opened the top of the fifth with a base hit. Verdeyen then singled two batters later and Traub was hit by a pitch before Fox and courtesy runner Wade Bushur scored on an RBI hit from Nichols to give the Flaming Hearts a 2-1 lead.

The Bulldogs answered back in a dominant fashion, though.

Adams started with a single. Lauritzen hit a double and Brock Fearday hit a double, scoring Adams and Lauritzen and giving St. Anthony the lead back.

Roepke then followed with a double, plating Brock Fearday and Hatton hit a two-run home run to make it a four-run game, 6-2.

Brent then reached on an error two batters later, allowing Link to score and Adams hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Brent after a Koenig single. Brock Fearday then reached on an error, scoring Koenig, making it 9-2.

EHS plated its final run in the seventh on an RBI single by Raddatz.

Raddatz, Fox and Verdeyen had two hits for Effingham. Nichols and Carter Braddy had one.

Hatton led the Bulldogs with three hits. Adams and Roepke had two and Lauritzen, Brock Fearday, Link and Koenig had one.

"It feels great to bounce back," said Adams on the two wins after a three-game losing streak. "I trusted this team and I know we got some guys that will come out and bring it every single day. There wasn't a single worry even after those three losses."

Brock Fearday earned the win. He struck out 12 batters and threw 108 pitches, 71 for strikes.

As for Effingham, head coach Curran McNeely wasn't pleased with his team's competitiveness.

"Compete. Don't lie down," McNeely said. "You know what they're going to do in the box."

The team ended up taking that message to heart, too, winning the third game, 6-5.

Effingham scored three runs in the sixth, two in the fourth and one in the second. Braddy, Verdeyen and Traub had two hits. Koeberlein and Webb had one.

St. Anthony scored three times in the seventh. Lauritzen hit a two-run single and Adams scored after Brock Fearday reached on an error but it wasn't enough as Effingham was able to stave off the feisty Bulldogs and come away with the win.

Though EHS dropped two of the three games in the set, they sit in an eerily similar spot as last year's team that advanced to the state tournament. That team also lost two of three to St. Anthony.

"Clearly, we're younger than last year," McNeely said. "We're relying on some younger kids to get the job done that haven't necessarily played varsity baseball and those younger kids, I feel like, are going to be good in a year or two; they're getting the experience right now. We can't lose sight of who we are and we have to continue to do those things."