St. Anthony downs Roxana in sectional semifinals to advance to second straight sectional final

May 23—GREENVILLE, Ill. — Three different players collected two hits and the St. Anthony baseball team defeated Roxana in a sectional semifinal of the Greenville Sectional Wednesday in Bond County.

Beau Adams, Brock Fearday and Brady Hatton all had two hits in the Bulldogs' 5-0 shutout victory over the Shells to advance to the sectional championship game.

Aiden Lauritzen started the game for St. Anthony.

Brady Jones drew a walk to open the first. Elias Thies then struck out looking and Mason Crump hit a single to put runners on first and second.

St. Anthony forced a double play to get out of the inning after Kyle Campbell flew out to right fielder Henry Brent, who then fired the ball to first base for the force.

Adams opened the bottom half of the frame with a base hit. Lauritzen then laid down a successful sacrifice, pushing Adams to second and Fearday drove in the run on a base hit up the middle.

Fearday later stole second before Connor Roepke flew out to center field. Fearday then advanced to third on a balk and Hatton hit an RBI single to left field, allowing Fearday to score easily from third. Sam Link ended the inning with a lineout to center.

Lauritzen then worked his first clean inning when he retired the side in order in the top of the second. Kael Hester grounded out, Aidan Briggs flew out and Sean Maberry popped out.

Briggs did the same to the St. Anthony lineup in the bottom of the second. He got Will Fearday to fly out and Brent and Max Koenig to ground out.

Dalton Carriker started the top of the third with a single. Max Autery struck out and Carriker was picked off of first before Jones hit a shallow fly ball to center field. Adams was tracking the ball before it bounced right behind him, allowing Jones to reach second. Thies then grounded out, ending the inning.

Adams made up for that miscue in the bottom of the third, when he hit a single to start the frame. He later advanced to second on a wild pitch before Nick Ruholl — who replaced Lauritzen after he was taken out of the game following the pickoff of Carriker — tried to advance the runner to second but foul-bunted for the first out.

Brock Fearday then grounded out, pushing Adams to third and Roepke drew a walk. Adams scored on a wild pitch and Hatton reached on an error.

Link then ended the inning by grounding into a fielder's choice.

Ahead 3-0 and Lauritzen out of the game, head coach Tony Kreke turned to Brock Fearday, who he had on a low pitch count.

"You obviously don't expect a situation like that to come, but it's nice to have an ace in the hole there," Kreke said. "Brock's a gamer; he wants the ball anytime he's available. Did we expect to use him today? Not really (but) you always try to keep him available."

Fearday finished throwing 65 pitches, 45 for strikes.

"I was in relief but wasn't sure I was going to be in that early," Fearday said. "I had to come out, be efficient and try to win us a game."

Fearday allowed three hits and two walks to five strikeouts.

He came in to start the fourth inning and got Crump to ground out before yielding a double to Campbell. Hester then lined out and Briggs popped out to end the frame.

Will Fearday was then hit by a pitch to start the fourth. Brent grounded out, pushing Fearday to second. Fearday then advanced to third on a passed ball and scored after Koenig hit a sacrifice bunt back to the mound.

Adams then flew out to end the frame.

Small ball proved to be one of the key reasons for the Bulldogs' win.

"Guys were able to get on base and were able to execute," Kreke said. "You just don't lay a bunt down. Do your job. Your job is to make them field a play and be able to do a lot of different things."

"That's a credit to (them)," he continued. "They practice (bunting). The last few days at practice, we were not taking it easy on them and they know that. They know, when we get ready for practice, we're looking to execute, we're looking to situational hit, we're looking to take those extra bags."