Top-10 Stories of 2019: No. 5 Teutopolis wins its second 2A title in three years


By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer, Associate Scout

It was a dominant decade for Teutopolis, for T-Town.

The Shoes earned appearances at state seven times in the past 10 seasons and this program has lifted two 2A state titles in the past three years. Head coach Justin Fleener has been at the helm of this program for almost 20 years now and he’s won over 500 games in that time.

This past spring, Teutopolis made its return to state, to the rest of the field’s dismay. The Shoes were hungry for another state title after coming just short of back-to-back 2A titles in 2018. T-Town poured on 17 hits in the championship game against Pleasant Plains in a 12-6 victory and Fleener and Co. had yet another reason to celebrate.

Our staff was on-site at the start of June to watch Teutopolis do it all again.


2A STATE FINALS: TEUTOPOLIS WINS SECOND TITLE IN THREE YEARS, KNOCKS OFF PLEASANT PLAINS 12-6


Tino Abarca
Staff Writer

Teutopolis and head coach Justin Fleener are no stranger to success in Peoria. Last year’s second-place finish almost seems out of the ordinary for a team like the Wooden Shoes. But with a strong offensive showing and solid pitching performances from Mitch Hemmen and Mitch Hardiek, the Wooden Shoes are back on top for the first time since 2017.

It only took a handful of pitches for Teutopolis to plate a pair of runners in the top of the first. Dawson Smith doubled, and Luke Ungrund singled him home to snag an early lead. Ungrund also came to score on a Hardiek double – one of his four hits on the evening.

With Teutopolis up 2-0, Joe Lee kept Pleasant Plains in it by knotting the score up at two with a single in the second. The Wooden Shoes quickly broke the tie in the third when Trenton Schwerdt and Clint Weber reached for Hardiek, who singled them home to keep his outstanding evening rolling and give Teutopolis a 4-2 lead.

Once they broke the tie, it was all Wooden Shoes for the rest of the game. Hemmen added three hits after being retired his first two attempts. Schwerdt reached four times – twice on a double.

The Cardinals would get four more across throughout the rest of the game. Aiding them to six runs was Lee, again, and Cam Furbeck. Both added run-scoring hits in the sixth. In that sixth, the Cardinals scored three, but the lead was 9-6 and too farfetched, especially when Teutopolis added three in the top of the seventh before closing out Pleasant Plains.

If Hardiek’s contributions weren’t enough at the plate, he closed out the final 1.2 innings and induced a 4-6-3 double play to end a Pleasant Plains scoring opportunity.

The offense for the Wooden Shoes was carried by the lefties in the lineup. Schwerdt and Brady McMahon had two hits; Hardiek had a double and two singles with four RBI.

If Hardiek’s contributions weren’t enough at the plate, he closed out the final 1.2 innings and induced a 4-6-3 double play to end a Pleasant Plains scoring opportunity.

Fleener captures his fourth state title with the win. It’s a safe bet to assume Teutopolis will make just as much noise as they did this year in 2020.

3RD PLACE GAME

Aurora Christian bounced back from last night’s loss to take third place over Alleman, 3-2. The Eagles were out-hit by Alleman, but an MJ Stavola single and Jake Kuntzendorf homer were all Aurora Christian would need.

Both teams were scoreless heading into the bottom of the third when Stavola singled and came around to score on an error by the opposing catcher. Moments later, with Sam Tickel on base reaching via walk, Kuntzendorf launched a homer to left – his second career HR in the state finals.

Kuntzendorf also started on the mound for the Eagles and was tagged with two runs in the sixth by Alleman. Anthony Glancey’s single scored two, but that’s all Alleman would be able to get, as the Eagles held on to a slim one-run lead. Hunter Thompson closed out the game for the Eagles to secure third place.

The Eagles finish 19-10-1 and have placed in the state finals back-to-back years.

TOP-10 STORIES OF 2019