By Kyle Daubs

You have to play the best eventually, so why not right away?

By now, it’s no secret that Teutopolis High School was added to the Apollo Conference on a one-year trial. It’s also no secret the Wooden Shoes will be competitive when they play the Trojans on Saturday morning.

The storied baseball program has won 517 games, four state championships and posted eight top-four finishes in Justin Fleener’s 19 years as coach. The Wooden Shoes are currently 8-2.

CHS has played well in starting off 8-2, although the Trojans managed just one hit Thursday in a 3-0 loss to St. Joseph-Ogden – ironically the same team that lost in the 2017 IHSA Class 2A state championship game to Teutopolis. St. Joseph might have been a good warm-up for the Shoes, having won seven straight regional titles and 12 of the past 14 along with four sectional titles in the past seven years.

A two-out fifth inning single by Charleston’s Jeb Vanatta broke up the no-hitter for the Spartans, who are 9-0 this season.

In a normal season, both games would count towards the conference standings, but, with one game, it means the stakes are even higher, especially with Charleston not having their top two starters in Ben Hess and Cade Landrus ready to go. 

Said coach Derrick Landrus. “Three of our top starting pitchers are out right now and would be questionable/doubtful for the games Saturday. That being said, we still feel we have a good team that can compete with anybody anytime we take the field. Our whole pitching staff have really stepped up to this point.”

Charleston has started strong despite battling adversity. James Hess, Peyton Daughtery, Kyler Sweeney, and Ty Coartney worked a one-run victory over Vandalia on Tuesday. 

Hess hasn’t allowed a run in 10 ⅔ innings and owns 18 strikeouts while limiting opponents to a .184 batting average. Hess could start Saturday, but, then again, couldn’t anybody? The team had a cumulative 2.46 earned-run average entering Thursday’s game.

Teutopolis brings a strong lineup to Marty Pattin Field.

On Tuesday, Teutopolis defeated Benton 22-16 in a game that saw the score 18-16 after five innings. Kayden Althoff produced six runs batted in, while Evan Addis added a home run and four runs batted in. 

Teutopolis defeated Olney 4-1 on Thursday with Dylan Pruemer picking up the win with 2 ⅓ innings of relief with zero earned runs allowed. 

Charleston counters with Cade Landrus, who is batting .305 and has the team’s only home run. The Trojans average seven runs a game, though, meaning we could see another slugfest. 

Game Notes

Who: Charleston vs. Teutopolis

Records: Charleston (8-2, 0-0), Teutopolis (8-2, 0-0)

Where: Marty Pattin Field

Time: 11 a.m

T-Town Players to Watch: Kayden Althoff, Evan Addis, Derek Konkel, Logan Roepke, Dylan Pruemer