Redbirds gain success in post season action

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers
Metamora's Drew Beenders checks the East Peoria runner on first during the regional game Thursday at Al Mulberry Field.

Two eager wins gave the Metamora varsity baseball team a regional title for the 2014 season. 

After receiving losses to Mid-Illini Conference teams, East Peoria and Washington, the Redbirds were able to pull through with wins in post-season action. 

Metamora 7, East Peoria 0

Successfully shutting out East Peoria in the regional semifinal Thursday gave the Redbirds a 7-0 victory.

“We had to completely revamp our offensive approach, because what we were doing just wasn’t working. Our guys were really receptive to that. In all my 10 years, it has to be the biggest offensive turnaround that I’ve ever seen,” coach Eric Stone said.

Geremy Guerrero had a big winning game to strike out 10 Raiders in seven innings. Batters across the Metamora roster pulled through to have an offensive edge to also lead them to the win.

It didn’t take long for the Redbirds offense to go on the attack against Raider’s lefty pitcher Kevin Ulrich.

Brady Fairfield, second in the lineup, knocked one to left for a double. Ethan Skender followed to slam one out of the park on the first pitch for two runs scored.

“That just set the tone. You could see right then,” Stone said.

“The guys, they want to win and they embraced it.”

Up next, Drew Beenders and Brendan Nachtrieb had hits to set up for one more run in the first.

Caleb Brachbill on a full count grounded to third and was able to get Beenders in for a run.

In the third, Metamora loaded the bases from Beenders, Nachtrieb and Caleb Brachbill hits.

Jake Guede then bunted for Beenders to score but Nachtrieb was out at third on a fielder’s choice.

The Redbirds went up 6-0 in the fifth after Guerrero was walked home with the bases loaded.

Brock Modglin, pinch running for Guede, got across the plate from Guerrero’s double to right field to make it 7-0.

East Peoria had a scoring chance in the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded but a ground out to Brachbill at third was able to close the inning before any damage was done.

Both teams went 3-up-3-down in the seventh to close out the game.

Nachtrieb finished the game going 3-for-5 at the plate. Beenders and Guerrero finished with two hits apiece and one RBI.

“We had great at bats. We had a lot of good opportunities to score runs against really good pitching.” If you get seven runs against those two guys, it’s just a phenomenal effort,” Stone said. “Offensively we just played really, really well. It was probably the best offensive game we’ve had all year.”

Metamora 3, Washington 0

The Redbirds pulled through again in the Regional title game against Washington and came out on top, 3-0.

Alex Lewis led Metamora for a no-hitter throughout seven innings.

Metamora once again had early scoring to help them to the win. 

Leading off was Peyton Biernat and was able to get the first Redbird run in off a wild pitch with Skender at the plate.

With Brachbill swinging, Beenders scored when a line drive was hit to center field to finish the scoring in the first.

In the bottom of the half, the Panthers had its only scoring opportunity with runners on second and third but were stranded after two put outs closed the inning.

Metamora posted its last run in the second from Guerrero running home.

Guerrero was on third when Skender was intentionally walked and then Beenders swinging, knocked one to right for Guerrero to score.

After the second, Metamora had just two more hits from Guede and Theiler.

Lewis finished with two strikeouts and Theiler led at the plate going 2-for-3.

Guede, Biernat, Fairfield, Beenders and Brachbill had one hit apiece.