With the game tied and Alonzo MacDonald aboard in the bottom of the sixth inning, St. Francis Borgia Regional junior Isaac Vedder strode to the plate.
Vedder, swinging one of the hottest bats in the area, hammered the first pitch from Lutheran St. Charles hurler Tanner Mueller over the left field fence for the game-winning home run in a 3-1 Borgia victory.
“Isaac Vedder had a heck of a week but saved his best for last,” Borgia Head Coach Rob Struckhoff said. “Game-winning home run in the bottom of the sixth of a tie game doesn’t get much better. It was a no-doubter. He’s been squaring up line drives all week and finally got a little under one. Very exciting.”
With the win, Borgia improved to 11-6 overall, 3-1 in the Archdiocesan Athletic Association Large Division. Lutheran St. Charles dropped to 6-9 overall, 0-3 in the league.
“This was a great baseball game if you like pitching and defense,” Struckhoff said. “Both teams were outstanding, and it was a quick game. Mueller did a great job against us, but we got the big hits when we needed them.”
Borgia scored its other run in the bottom of the first. Lutheran St. Charles tied it in the top of the fourth. And, that’s how it stood until Vedder’s homer.
The blast was Vedder’s first of the year. He has hit safely in 11 of 13 games this season and holds a .450 batting average.
Pitching controlled most of the game. Caleb Kleekamp held Lutheran St. Charles to just two hits. The Cougars also picked up four walks and had a hit batter as Kleekamp went the distance. He struck out nine batters.
“Caleb Kleekamp had the outing we’ve been waiting for from him,” Struckhoff said. “Lutheran has a good lineup, but he mixed his stuff up and kept them off-balance. He also made some big pitches to get out of a couple jams. If he can repeat this, we’re in good shape moving forward.”
Mueller took the loss, going 5.1 innings and allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out two.
Dalton Short closed out the game, striking out one of the two batters he faced.
Besides Vedder’s homer, MacDonald doubled. Sam Turilli, Sam Heggemann and Brayden Mayer singled.
MacDonald drew two walks. Jack Nobe also walked.
Nobe and Turilli both stole bases.
MacDonald scored twice, and Vedder had the other run. Vedder drove in two.
Jake Millard and Mueller had the Lutheran St. Charles hits, both singles.
Short walked twice. Millard and David MacLachan drew walks. Short was hit by a pitch.
Millard scored the run, and Mueller posted the RBI.
“I’m really proud of the guys with our play this week,” Struckhoff said. “I know we are excited to keep rolling toward the stretch run here.”