T-Town struggles against Fearday in loss to St. Anthony

Apr. 19—EFFINGHAM — There is no question that the St. Anthony baseball team has been a juggernaut this season.

However, that didn't start in the spring. It began in the fall.

The Bulldogs ended the fall campaign with a 24-1 record, the lone loss coming to Teutopolis on Sept. 26. It was the third of four meetings between the two schools at the time and the only time that T-town head coach Justin Fleener's team bested their rival.

It was not the same story Tuesday night, though, as St. Anthony defeated the Wooden Shoes 8-2 at Paul Smith Field.

Brock Fearday retired the side in order to start the game, getting Garrett Gaddis and Davin Worman to strikeout before getting Mick Niebrugge to ground out to third base.

The Bulldogs then scored three times with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Fearday helped himself, hitting a solo shot to center. Connor Roepke then laced a double and Brady Hatton demolished a 3-1 offering to center to make the score after one.

Austin Borries then started the second with a leadoff hit.

Nothing came of that hit, though, as Fearday retired the next three batters. He got Mitch Koester to pop out to left, Evan Waldhoff to line out to center, and Joey Niebrugge to line out to left.

Fearday then retired the next six batters. He got Devin Kreke and Brett Kreke to ground out and struck out Gaddis in the third before inducing a line out, striking out Mick Niebrugge, and getting Borries to fly out in the fourth.

St. Anthony then plated one run in the fourth and three in the fifth.

Hatton scored on an error in the third and then hit a two-run shot in the fifth.

Hatton finished with two hits, three runs scored, and four RBIs.

"A healthy Brady does a lot for us," head coach and Teutopolis graduate Tony Kreke said. "It just opens up so many more possibilities for us."

Beau Adams had one hit and one run scored. Roepke had one hit, one run scored, and one RBI, and Henry Brent had one hit.

Fearday had the best day, though.

He finished with three hits, one run scored, and one RBI.

He also pitched 6 1/3 innings and allowed five hits, two runs and one walk to four strikeouts.

Where he was most impressive to Tony Kreke, though, was getting ahead in the count.

"Get ahead. Command the strike zone," Tony Kreke said. "He was able to get ahead and do a lot of nice things there and force a lot of weak contact. Everybody else all had a chip in some way or another. We found out a little bit about ourselves this (past) weekend, but everybody has a role and it doesn't matter what your role is, but you have to be the best at that role, and today was a good quality win all the way around."

Fearday threw 87 pitches, 61 for strikes.

"He didn't have to go to his offspeed a lot," Tony Kreke said. "He went to his offspeed a little bit later."

On the other side of the ledger, Gaddis allowed six hits, seven runs (three earned) and two walks to three strikeouts in five innings.

Tony Kreke noted the approach his team had to take against a quality arm.

"Right-center approach and you have to have that approach against a good lefty that has good run on his ball," he said. "He has a lot of arm-side run and he got us in the fall, where we only scored one run off him. So, we knew, going into the game, that it was going to be a dogfight against Gaddis, but we were able to stay on those pitches and drive them."

Carter Hoene relieved Gaddis and allowed two hits, one unearned run and one walk in one inning.

At the plate, Borries had two hits, Gaddis had one and one run scored, and Waldhoff and Joey Niebrugge had one hit.

Though it was the fifth time Tony Kreke's team had seen T-Town this school year, he still feels the same way about the Shoes as he does any other team.

"I don't look into that much," Tony Kreke said. "I truly mean it when I say, 'faceless opponent,' and our spring schedule — it's a brutal stretch of games, and if you only get up for the rivals, what are you going to do against teams that come in and want to punch you in the gut?"

Fleener also felt the same way, to some degree.

"I've come to the conclusion, it's a rivalry, every game that I'm playing," Fleener said. I know the St. Anthony and T-Town rivalry was here long before Justin Fleener was ever coaching baseball and it will be here long after Justin Fleener is gone; I said that about the rivalry with my brother when he was at Effingham. But for me, personally, every ballgame you play is a goal, a drive and it's the competitiveness that brought me back to be able to coach again."

Contact EDN Sports Editor Alex Wallner at 618-510-9231 or