On Monday, May 13, the Litchfield Purple Panthers would begin their postseason run as they would enter the postseason as the tenth seed in the "A" subsectional of the Teutopolis Sectional.
Litchfield would be placed in the Greenville Regional and would draw the sixth seed Vandalia Vandals in the opening round. The Vandals would host the opening round game and would come out on top with a 2-0 win, ending the Litchfield season.
In the opening inning, the Purple Panthers would threaten the scoreboard as two runners would quickly reach the base paths. Brady Bishop would lead off the inning with a base hit and would be quickly moved to third base as Jacob Frerichs would collect the second hit of the inning for Litchfield.
The Vandals' pitching and defense would come up big as they would close out the Litchfield scoring threat by retiring the next three Purple Panther batters.
In the second inning, Litchfield would once again lead off the inning by getting their first batter to touch first base. In this inning it would be Blaine Stewart, who would lead off as he reached first base on a fielding error by the Vandals.
Stewart, though, would not be able to advance any further as the Vandals would shut down the next three batters, closing out the inning with the third Purple Panther left on the base paths.
Through the first three innings Litchfield's starting pitcher, Billy Beckham, would be the talk of the game. Beckham would hold the Vandals off the scoreboard in those opening innings as he would only allow two Vandals on the base paths and would strike out seven.
Beckham's performance would come to a slow down in the fourth inning, when the Vandals would finally find the remedy to the hard-throwing LHS senior.
A leadoff base hit would give the Vandals their third base runner. This time the result would be different though, as the following Vandal would connect on a home run, scoring two runs for Vandalia. The home run would break a deadlock through three innings, as the Vandals would build a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.
After the home run, Beckham would settle down as he would strike out two more Vandals, giving him nine strikeouts through four innings of action.
After giving up the two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Purple Panthers would once again produce a scoring threat, this time in the top half of the fifth inning.
Chase Hires would open the inning by reaching first base on a base on balls. After a strikeout, Caleb Jurgena would move Hires over to second base with a base hit. Brady Bishop would follow Jurgena with a base on balls and would load the base paths with Purple Panthers with only one out in the inning.
Again, the Vandals' pitching and defense would come through for Vandalia as they would collect two outs on the next two batters, retiring the inning and the Purple Panther scoring threat.
That would be the biggest scoring threat of the contest for the Purple Panthers as Litchfield would fail to get a runner across home plate in their final two attempts.
The Purple Panthers would get a runner on second base in the last frame when Caleb Jurgena collected his second base hit of the contest. A ground out and a strikeout would shut down any further Purple Panther scoring threat and would close out the contest as Vandalia would move on with a 2-0 victory.
The hard fought 2-0 loss would end the Purple Panthers' season with a 6-15 record. Litchfield's seniors would leave everything they had on the field in their final high school sporting event, including Litchfield's starting pitcher Billy Beckham.
Beckham would pitch a complete game giving up two runs and six hits, but would keep the Vandals at bay with 12 strikeouts. It would be one hit, though, that would shut down Litchfield's season.
The Vandals will move on to meet the second seed Teutopolis in Greenville on Wednesday.
May 13 at Vandalia
Class 2A Greenville Regional
Litchfield 000 000 0 0 4 0
Vandalia 000 200 x 2 6 2
Litchfield IP R ER H K BB
L-Beckham 6 2 2 6 12 0
Multiple Hits: Litchfield - Caleb Jurgena (2-3).
Records: Litchfield (6-15, 3-6).
On Friday, May 10, the Litchfield Purple Panthers competed in their last warm-up game before the postseason when they traveled to Staunton to battle the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs would put runs on the board in five of six innings as Staunton would walk away with an 11-1 shortened game victory.
The Purple Panthers would strike early in this contest as they would grab a 1-0 run in the opening inning. Brady Bishop, would lead off the contest with a base on balls. During the next at-bat Bishop would find himself on third base with no outs.
Jacob Frerichs, in the two spot, would be the second Purple Panther on the base paths, as he touched first after being interfered with by the catcher. Litchfield would have a scoring threat as Bishop would stand on third and Frerichs would be on first with no outs.
The Bulldogs' pitching and defense would shut down the following three batters, expiring the inning. Even though the Bulldogs would collect the three outs during the next three batters, Litchfield would find a way to put a run on the board. Bishop would be the lone run of the inning as he would touch home plate on a passed ball, as the Purple Panthers would lead 1-0 in the opening inning.
Staunton would quickly add two runs to the board in their half of the first inning. Cy Cox would connect on a home run that would also score Ryan Best, who was on the base paths after being hit by a pitch.
Cox's shot gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead after the first inning. The home run would end up being the winning run in the contest.
In the second inning, Blaine Stewart and Chase Hires would lead off for the Purple Panthers with two walks. Both runners would get into scoring position, but that is as far as either would get. The inning would be retired with Stewart on third base and Hires on second base and the Bulldogs still leading 2-1.
The scoring threat for the Purple Panthers in the second inning would be as close as the Purple Panthers would come to scoring another run in the contest. Litchfield would only get one runner on the base paths after the second inning. That runner would be Jacob Frerichs, who singled in the sixth.
As the Purple Panthers would have offensive problems, the Bulldogs would find scoring an easy task. After scoring two runs in the first inning, Staunton would be able to add nine more runs in the final five innings. Staunton would get a run in both the second and third innings to give the Bulldogs a 4-1 lead after three innings.
After not scoring in the fourth inning, the Bulldogs would put on four more runs in the fifth inning and three runs in the sixth inning. The three runs in the sixth inning would be enough to end the contest an inning early as the Bulldogs would obtain a ten-run lead, 11-1.
The Bulldogs would contain the Purple Panthers throughout the contest as they would only give up one run and one hit to the Litchfield squad.
May 10 at Litchfield
Staunton 211 043 11 7 1
Litchfield 100 000 1 1 1
Litchfield IP R ER H K BB
L-Frerichs 3 4 2 4 6 1
Bishop 2 4 4 2 0 6
Stewart 1 3 2 1 0 3
Records: Litchfield (6-14, 3-6).