Mount Pulaski baseball has a big day sweeping the big guys

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[April 30, 2018] 

Mount Pulaski hosted a three-team round robin tournament on Saturday with Springfield Southeast High School and Peoria High School, and it was the Hilltoppers schooling the big guys.

Not only was the afternoon fun for the Hilltoppers, but there was a food truck involved in the festivities. Food and fun at the ballpark. That's what it's all about.

Mount Pulaski took game one 5-3 over Southeast with Brandon Kretzinger getting the start on the mound. He earned the win and got a little relief help from Grant Davis, who picked up the save.

In game two it was Drew Martin with a dominating performance from the mound to get the 5-0 win. The freshman struck out 17 Peoria batters and only allowed one hit while issuing just one walk. Impressive to say the least.

Game one

Members of the Hilltoppers baseball team try to stay warm in between games with Southeast and Peoria.  You would think with TV weatherman Joe Crain’s son pitching for Southeast, he could pull some strings for warmer late April weather.

--Photo courtesy Brandy Kelly

With the action on the base paths getting started in the second inning at Bob Gasaway Field, it was cleanup hitter Drew Martin getting a single to lead things off. Martin was out at second trying to stretch the hard hit ground ball to left field into a double. No worries. Southeast starting pitcher Jarrett Rutledge was shook up enough he walked the next five batters and Mount Pulaski was up 2-0.

This set the stage for lead-off batter Todd Kelly to step into the batter's box and smack a single to centerfield. Austin Killion and Ian Schneider scored on the play to make the score 4-0.

Southeast would score in the top of the third inning as Thomas Crain singled to lead things off and he eventually moved around the base paths. Crain would score on a Mount Pulaski error and it was 4-1 in favor of the Hilltoppers.

Mount Pulaski wasted no time getting the run back. In the bottom of the third inning a single and a stolen base by Martin was about to cause trouble for the Spartans. Martin then scampered into third base on a ball hit by Davis back to the pitcher. Then it was Killion with the sacrifice fielded by the pitcher to score Martin. The Hilltoppers stretched the lead to 5-1.

Another Southeast run would come across in the top of the fourth inning. Anthony Clark was hit by a pitch and then stole second. He would later score on a fielder's choice. The Spartans were chipping away at the lead as Mount Pulaski held the 5-2 advantage.

The game was quiet until the top of the sixth inning when Eddie Saner led off with a double and he scored on a single by cleanup hitter Anthony Clark. Kretzinger shut down the Spartans for the rest of the inning and Mount Pulaski held onto the 5-3 lead.

After recording one out and issuing one walk in the top of the seventh inning, Kretzinger was relieved by Davis on the mound. Davis threw less than ten pitches in recording a strikeout and then getting help from a pitcher's best friend. The double play ball was hit to Garrett Fitzpatrick and the second baseman handled things. He stepped on second and tossed to Kelly at first base to end the game.

High fives all the way around for the Hilltoppers. Final score 5-3.


Todd Kelly 3 0 1 2 0 0
Brandon Kretzinger 3 0 0 0 0 2
Ben Fricke 3 0 0 0 0 2
Drew Martin 3 1 3 0 0 0
Tanner Farris 2 1 0 0 1 1
Grant Davis 2 1 0 0 1 0
Austin Killion 1 1 0 1 1 1
Ian Schneider 2 1 0 1 1 1
Dawson Combs 1 0 0 1 1 0
Garrett Fitzpatrick -- -- -- -- -- --
TOTALS 20 5 4 5 5 7

TB: Todd Kelly, Drew Martin 3
RBI: Dawson Combs, Todd Kelly 2, Austin Killion, Ian Schneider
SAC: Austin Killion
FC: Grant Davis
SB: Tanner Farris, Todd Kelly, Drew Martin 2
CS: Drew Martin
TotalsTeam QAB: 13 (50.00%)
Dawson Combs, Grant Davis, Tanner Farris, Todd Kelly, Austin Killion 3, Brandon Kretzinger 2, Drew Martin 2, Ian Schneider 2

Team LOB: 3FieldingE: Ben Fricke 2, Brandon Kretzinger

Brandon Kretzinger 6.1 100 .560 4 3 2 1 2 0
Grant Davis 0.2 10 .500 0 0 0 1 0 0
TOTALS 7.0 110 .555 4 3 2 2 2 0

W: Brandon Kretzinger
SV: Grant Davis
HBP: Brandon Kretzinger
WP: Brandon Kretzinger
Pitches-Strikes: Grant Davis 10-5, Brandon Kretzinger 100-56
Groundouts-Flyouts: Grant Davis 1-0, Brandon Kretzinger 9-8
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: Grant Davis 1-2, Brandon Kretzinger 7-27


Bryce Griebler 3 0 0 1 1 2
Jordan Jones 4 0 0 0 0 0
Eddie Saner 3 1 1 0 0 0
Anthony Clark 2 1 1 1 0 0
Cody Louveau 3 0 0 0 0 0
Brendon Spaulding 3 0 1 1 0 0
Wyatt Shepard 3 0 0 0 0 0
Thomas Crain 3 1 1 0 0 0
Mitch Crofton 2 0 0 0 1 0
Jake Read -- -- -- -- -- --
Jarrett Rutledge -- -- -- -- -- --
Carter Spaulding -- -- -- -- -- --
TOTALS 26 3 4 3 2 2

2B: Eddie Saner
TB: Anthony Clark, Thomas Crain, Eddie Saner 2, Brendon Spaulding
RBI: Anthony Clark, Bryce Griebler, Brendon Spaulding
ROE: Anthony Clark, Bryce Griebler
HBP: Anthony Clark
SB: Anthony Clark 5, Bryce Griebler 3, Brendon Spaulding
PIK: Anthony Clark
TotalsTeam QAB: 10 (34.48%)
Anthony Clark, Mitch Crofton 2, Bryce Griebler 2, Jordan Jones, Cody Louveau, Eddie Saner, Wyatt Shepard, Brendon Spaulding

Team LOB: 5

Jarrett Rutledge 1.1 35 .343 1 4 4 1 5 0
Thomas Crain 4.2 72 .694 3 1 1 6 0 0
TOTALS 6 107 .579 4 5 5 7 5 0

PitchingL: Jarrett Rutledge
Pitches-Strikes: Thomas Crain 72-50, Jarrett Rutledge 35-12
Groundouts-Flyouts: Thomas Crain 3-4, Jarrett Rutledge 0-2
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: Thomas Crain 14-17, Jarrett Rutledge 3-9

Game two

The real story here is Drew Martin. He took the mound for the Hilltoppers and dominated the Peoria batters from the get-go. Martin struck out the first two batters of the game before giving up a single to Riley Driscoll. There goes the no-hitter. He bounced back to strike out the cleanup hitter and the side was retired.

In the top of the second inning Martin would record two more strikeouts. Moving on to a scoreless third inning, it was Martin striking out the side.

In the Hilltoppers bottom half of the third inning, Martin would get all the run support he would really need on this day. Todd Kelly's lead-off triple to centerfield was a nice start to the inning. Kelly would come racing home on Ben Fricke's groundout to the shortstop. Hilltoppers up 1-0.

The top of the fourth inning looked easy for the Hilltoppers with Martin recording two more strikeouts and getting a groundout to, who else ... himself.

By the fifth inning the Peoria batters were shaking their heads in disbelief. Martin struck out the side and for those counting it's time to take off the shoes and socks. Thirteen strikeouts recorded by Martin now. Fifth inning.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, Mount Pulaski added a couple runs to the scoreboard. They were helped by Peoria just a bit. Two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases for the Hilltoppers with Martin up. Martin grounded into a fielder's choice to score Kelly from third base. Following a strikeout of Tanner Farris, Davis walked and this allowed Kretzinger to trot home with run number three in the game. Now, 3-0 in favor of Mount Pulaski.

The sixth inning showed the human side of Martin. He did hit a batter and walked a batter, but he still struck out the side. His strikeout total now beats his age by one.

[to top of second column]

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Mount Pulaski added a couple more insurance runs, not that Martin needed them, but it was nice.

Kelly singled, stole second and reached third on an error. He was a busy young man on the base paths Saturday.

An RBI single by Kretzinger would bring Kelly home. Kretzinger would then steal second base and he was able to come flying home on Ben Fricke's RBI single. Nice work by the Hilltoppers offense.

Playing a little small ball to get the job done. Mount Pulaski carried a 5-0 lead into the final inning.

The top of the seventh inning may have started out a bit shaky. A hit batter started things off. No worries. Martin came back strong and recorded his 17th strikeout of the game.

Martin was then helped out at second base by fellow teammate, Freshman Garrett Fitzpatrick, who prior to this season, had not played second base since second grade. Fitzpatrick caught the popup hit to him at second and fired it to Kelly at first base to double up the runner and it was game over.


Todd Kelly 2 3 2 0 2 0
Brandon Kretzinger 2 2 1 1 2 0
Ben Fricke 2 0 1 2 0 0
Drew Martin 4 0 0 1 0 0
Tanner Farris 3 0 0 0 0 3
Grant Davis 2 0 1 1 1 1
Austin Killion 3 0 0 0 0 1
Ian Schneider 3 0 0 0 0 0
Garrett Fitzpatrick 3 0 0 0 0 3
Dawson Combs -- -- -- -- -- --
TOTALS 24 5 5 5 5 8

Batting3B: Todd Kelly
TB: Grant Davis, Ben Fricke, Todd Kelly 4, Brandon Kretzinger
RBI: Grant Davis, Ben Fricke 2, Brandon Kretzinger, Drew Martin
FC: Drew Martin
HBP: Tanner Farris, Ben Fricke 2
SB: Tanner Farris, Ben Fricke, Todd Kelly, Brandon Kretzinger
TotalsTeam QAB: 15 (46.88%)
Grant Davis 2, Tanner Farris, Garrett Fitzpatrick, Ben Fricke 2, Todd Kelly 3, Brandon Kretzinger 3, Drew Martin 2, Ian Schneider

Team LOB: 9FieldingE: Brandon Kretzinger
DP: Garrett Fitzpatrick, Todd Kelly

Drew Martin 7 102 .676 1 0 0 17 1 0
TOTALS 7 102 .676 1 0 0 17 1 0

PitchingW: Drew Martin
HBP: Drew Martin 2
Pitches-Strikes: Drew Martin 102-69
Groundouts-Flyouts: Drew Martin 2-1
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: Drew Martin 17-24


Tevion Albert 2 0 0 0 1 2
Gabe Hernandez 3 0 0 0 0 3
Riley Driscoll 3 0 1 0 0 1
Leyton Roos 2 0 0 0 0 2
Oscar Valentine 0 0 0 0 0 0
Jacob Berry 3 0 0 0 0 3
Cam Ford 3 0 0 0 0 2
Kyrell Nichols 2 0 0 0 0 1
Brandon Anderson 1 0 0 0 0 1
Gavin Mitchell 2 0 0 0 0 2
Isaiah Heerman 0 0 0 0 0 0
TOTALS 21 0 1 0 1 17

TB: Riley Driscoll
HBP: Leyton Roos, Brandon Anderson
SB: Brandon Anderson
TotalsTeam QAB: 8 (33.33%)
Riley Driscoll 2, Leyton Roos, Tevion Albert 3, Kyrell Nichols, Gabe Hernandez

Team LOB: 3FieldingE: Gabe Hernandez

Riley Driscoll 5.1 109 .578 4 5 5 7 5 0
Jacob Berry 0.2 13 .769 1 0 0 1 0 0
TOTALS 6.0 122 .698 5 5 5 8 5 0

L: Riley Driscoll
HBP: Riley Driscoll 3
Pitches-Strikes: Riley Driscoll 109-63, Jacob Berry 13-10
Groundouts-Flyouts: Riley Driscoll 6-3, Jacob Berry 1-0
First pitch strikes-Batters faced: Riley Driscoll 17-29, Jacob Berry 3-3

Photo of Drew Martin on the mound Saturday.

By Erin Martin

Hilltoppers win 5-0 behind a spectacular pitching performance by Drew Martin. Martin allowed just one ball to leave the infield all day. The first inning single by Riley Driscoll to centerfielder Brandon Kretzinger was IT. The rest of the day the infield handled things and for what it's worth the outfield could have been pulling dandelions, or better yet, hanging out by the Nuthatch Hill BBQ Food Truck.

A fun day for the Hilltoppers. A sweep of a 3A team and a 4A team. All in a day's work.

Mount Pulaski Head Coach Joel Washko was emptying trash as the boys were raking the field following the games and the coach was smiling from ear to ear. His team really rose to the occasion this week after Logan DeRight went down and out with a broken ankle. This team is young and shows a lot of resilience. Coach Washko appreciates their hard work and so do the fans.

In discussing the first win of the day, with Mount Pulaski handing Southeast a 5-3 loss, Coach Washko said, "This was our best win of the year in my opinion. Southeast is a pretty solid 3A team that has played pretty well in the CS8 this year, and has competed well with some really good teams.

"Brandon Kretzinger gave us a great start on the mound. Brandon had their hitters off balance from the beginning and was able to force a lot of pop ups and ground balls.

"We made a couple mistakes in the field, but when they got base runners we were able to limit the damage and stay out of any big innings.

"We have been beaten a couple times with just one bad inning in the field and we kind of did it to our opponent in this one. We were able to take advantage of their pitcher having some control issues in the second inning and put up four runs.

"We didn't hit the ball great in this one, but we got a big two-run single in the second by Todd Kelly and then a safety squeeze bunt for a run in the third inning by Austin Killion.

"Grant Davis came in the seventh inning and did a nice job of closing the door on Southeast and getting the save."

There was plenty for Coach Washko to talk about in game two also. A 5-0 shutout victory was sweet over the 4A Peoria High School Lions. "The story of this game was Drew Martin on the mound for us," said Coach Washko. "He put together the most dominant pitching performance I have seen in a while at this level. We had another tall right hander a few years back that had a couple performances like this (you might remember him ~ Michael Lowery). It was extremely impressive. Drew had great velocity and pounded the strike zone all game. He also used a solid breaking ball to keep their hitters off balance and they just had no answer for him. Peoria only put five balls in play off of him and that really was the story.

"Offensively we kind of wore down their starting pitcher who was very good himself. We got a run here and there and finally chased him in the sixth inning.

"We got some timely hitting from Todd Kelly (two hits including a triple), Ben Fricke (RBI single), and Brandon Kretzinger (RBI single) and that was more than enough insurance for Drew.

"Today was a great day for us. It was a lot of fun and you could tell our guys were enjoying playing the game. We played the game the right way today and were rewarded with two very solid wins. We just have to keep this momentum going into next week. We were dealt a difficult blow by losing Logan on Monday, but to go 4-1 this week without him shows a lot of perseverance and I am very proud of this group for it," concluded Coach Washko.

Note: Southeast defeated Peoria High School 13-1 in five innings in the middle game of the afternoon. The records of the teams after yesterday are:

Mount Pulaski 10-8
Southeast 12-9
Peoria 2-12

[Teena Lowery]

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