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ALTON - Alton Post 126 manager Nick Paulda had expectations for Adam Stilts to have a quality outing.
He delivered and then some.
Stilts threw a two-hit complete game shutout as Alton took down Valmeyer Post 901 2-0 in the American Senior Legion District 22 tournament at SIUE’s Roy E. Lee Field on Monday night.
“[Adam] did even better than we expected. It’s hard for someone like that to surprise us, but he does,” Paulda said. “To be able to get through seven innings and we had him at 67 pitches. That’s outstanding. He had those guys off-balance all day.”
“Everything was working well for him. Usually, everything does,” Alton catcher Ethan Kopsie said about Stilt’s outing. “We didn’t throw the changeup as much, but when we did it was on.”
Post 126 improves their record to 24-14 and will face Belleville Post 58 tonight at 6 p.m. at Alton High School, who defeated Highland Post 439 6-5 in eight innings. Valmeyer drops to 13-11 and takes on Edwardsville Post 199 tonight at 7:30 p.m.
“I know [Valmeyer’s] a good team from last year and everything like that, but definitely seeing them [before] was a big thing,” Stilts said. “I got a great defense behind me so [I just] throw strikes, pitch to contact.”
At the plate, Elijah Dennenbrink and Zaide Wilson each went 2-for-3 to lead Alton. In the bottom of the first, Kopsie blooped an RBI single into shallow right field scoring Jayce Maag.
Valmeyer got a solid outing from Drew Maus who threw five innings of work. He gave up one two runs (one earned) and seven hits. He struck out and walked three batters apiece.
Though Post 126 had a lead with Stilts pitching the way he was throwing, Paulda noted that the lineup couldn’t relax just because a pitcher is cruising along. With the score still 1-0 in the sixth, Alton added a vital insurance run. After Bryce Parish reached second base on an error by the centerfielder, Wilson ripped an RBI single to right field making it 2-0.
“It’s easy to get in that mindset,” Paulda said. “We always remember the Belleville game (lost 3-1) in the back of our heads. We thought one run was going to be enough, but one pitch later it wasn’t. We’re not going to play that game with them. Putting up that second run in the sixth inning was big and made it much easier for Adam.”
“All around we had a pretty good night,” Paulda said. “At-bats could’ve been a little bit better, but we did what it took to win the ballgame at the end.”
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