New Haven put on a hitting exhibition during its Class 1 sectional baseball game Monday against Green Ridge.
The Shamrocks collected 23 hits in just four innings at the plate and crushed Green Ridge 22-9 in five innings at New Haven High School.
“I don’t know exactly what to say about that game, but we’re one win away from the Final Four, so you have to be pleased about that,” said New Haven Head Coach Jim Scheer. “There were so many people running around the bases, I couldn’t keep track of it all. I was busy coaching third base. There was a lot going on over there.”
New Haven (11-13) travels to Sturgeon (12-6) in a quarterfinal contest Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Green Ridge (12-9) actually took a 4-0 lead with four runs in the top of the first inning.
But that didn’t rattle the Shamrocks, who took batting practice off Green Ridge pitcher Beau Franklin.
“We hit the ball really good. Their kids weren’t throwing the ball overly hard and didn’t have a whole lot of movement, either,” Scheer said. “Throughout the year, we haven’t been a powerful hitting team, but we hit a bunch of balls hard today. I’ve been trying to stress hitting line drives or lower, not easy fly balls, and making the defense field it. We hit the ball well. The 23 hits might be the most for any team I’ve ever coached.”
The Shamrocks scored eight runs on eight hits in both the bottom of the first and the second innings to grab a 16-7 lead heading to the third frame.
“It was odd. I told the third-base umpire in the bottom of the second inning that it was going to be a long night,” Scheer said. “Luckily, Austin (Madden) started getting some strikeouts and we didn’t make too many more errors behind him after the first inning.”
New Haven settled for just three runs in both the third and fourth innings.
After scoring four runs in the first inning, the Tigers added three runs in the second and two in the fourth.
New Haven’s top four hitters in the lineup combined for 16 hits in the game.
Seven of the nine Shamrocks in the starting lineup reached base at least three times. All nine starters reached base at least once.
Ross Seitter, New Haven’s sophomore leadoff batter, reached base five times with four hits (one double) and a walk to go with five RBIs.
“Ross started the year down in the order, then started hitting the ball and getting on base,” Scheer said. “We moved him up to the leadoff spot and he’s actually hit the ball even better since then.”
Austin Madden, a junior who hits in the two hole, finished with five hits (one double) and four RBIs.
“Austin is just too fast not to have at the top of the lineup. Most of his hits were line drives,” Scheer said. “The top of the order, we have to get those guys on base. If we get Ross and Austin on, then we have speed and can make things happen.”
John Carey, the senior No. 3 hitter, collected four hits (one double) and four RBIs.
“John is a strong hitter who puts the ball in play,” Scheer said.
Garrett Schoenfeld, the sophomore cleanup hitter, added three hits, including a two-run homer, and four RBIs.
“Garrett is a solid hitter,” Scheer said. “He was honorable mention all-conference last year.”
Kyle Ruediger, a freshman, registered three hits (one double) and two RBIs.
Blake Eggers, a junior, added two hits (one double) and two RBIs.
John Duke, a senior, had one hit (double), one walk, was hit by a pitch and reached on an error.
Junior Andrew Schwentker had a double. Senior Jake Terschluse added a walk and one RBI.
“Kyle is a freshman who is really swinging the bat well,” Scheer said. “Blake is hitting over .300. John had a hit and found ways to get on base.”
Madden pitched all five innings for New Haven to earn the win. He’s been the winning pitcher in three of the Shamrocks four postseason games, including the district tournament.
In five innings, he allowed nine runs on eight hits with two walks and 11 strikeouts.
Franklin did much of the offensive damage for Green Ridge, including a three-run homer in the second inning.
“I don’t think Austin threw quite as hard as he did in the district championship game at St. Elizabeth,” Scheer said. “He had better control of his breaking ball against St. Elizabeth. Tonight he was just hoping to get it around the plate.”
New Haven makes the trip to Sturgeon High School for a Class 1 quarterfinal game Wednesday at 6 p.m.
Admission to the game will be $6, which is a MSHSAA mandated price.
Sturgeon defeated New Franklin Monday in the sectional round, 2-0.
“I’ve heard Sturgeon is pretty good. I haven’t scouted them or sent anyone to scout them,” Scheer said. “I know Coach (Ray) Steinhoff knows someone who said they have a solid ballclub.”
Schoenfeld will be New Haven’s starting pitcher.
“Garrett caught for us tonight (sectional game). His arm should be fresh. He hasn’t pitched since last Monday, so it’s been well over a week,” Scheer said. “His record is something like 2-5. He’s a sophomore who threw a good game against Union in the game where we got struck out so much. I think it was a no-hitter on both sides going into the fifth inning. It was a 3-0 game against Union. He threw well.”
Scheer said the Shamrocks need to clean a few things up from the sectional win.
“Defensively, we have to play better. Most of it happened in the first inning, but we were pretty sloppy on defense,” Scheer said. “We like to pride ourselves on defense, but at times we made some very unvarsity-like plays on simple things.”
The quarterfinal winner advances to the MSHSAA Class 1 Championships May 30-31 at Meador Park in Springfield.