Photo by Caleb Motsinger
Civic Memorial's Tommy Flack at Lloyd Hopkins Field in Gordon Moore Park.
ALTON – Tommy Flack pitched the game of his life Monday for the Metro East Senior Legion baseball team.
The Civic Memorial High product flirted with a no-hitter and finished with a one-hitter in a 1-0 victory over visiting Collinsville at Moore Park.
The first-year Bears improved to 4-2 overall and 2-0 in District 22 play. Flack has both of those league wins. Collinsville is 2-3 and 0-1.
“That’s two games in a row he has done well for us,” Bears’ manager Ken Schaake said of Flack’s sharp pitching. He worked six strong innings last Thursday in a 2-1 win over Fairview Heights. He allowed two hits and no earned runs.
Schaake added, “He threw the ball well again tonight (Monday) and we made some plays behind him.”
Flack kept Collinsville hitless for 6.1 innings. Following a Bears’ error, Jordan Reichert singled to right field to break up his no-hit bid. Post 365 had runners at first and second base with one out, but Flack wriggled out of trouble.
“He (Flack) was around the plate all night and he didn’t give us anything free to hit,” Collinsville manager A.J. Cluck said. “And they (Bears) are tough. They really have a good club.”
Flack knew what was going on around him in the snappy 1-hour, 22-minute game on Hopkins Field.
“I’ve never pitched a no-hitter before, but I was feeling it,” Flack said of his gem. “I was definitely pretty close to it.”
He said, “I try to work the outside corners and get as many ground balls as I can. And it’s nice to have a catcher like (Nick) Paulda behind the plate.”
Flack struck out two, walked two and pitched around three errors. Metro East manufactured its lone run in the fifth and that was enough to pin the defeat on tough-luck losing pitcher Jake Grzywacz.
Ray Bailey of the Bears opened the fifth inning with a double. Riley Caselton grounded out to second base, enabling Bailey to go to third. Mason Caselton then hit a high chopper to third base and Bailey beat the throw home for a run.
That was it.
“Bailey got a timely hit and he will be a nice addition for us,” Schaake said.
The Alton High grad, who plays at Illinois Central College in East Peoria, made his debut for the Bears. He figures to add power to their lineup and boost a talented pitching staff.
“I talked to Austin Stilts about this team and I decided to come out,” Bailey said. “On the double, I was trying to get up on the plate and hit a good pitch.”
Once the Bears scored, they left it in Flack’s hands to keep Collinsville scoreless.
“He made a lot of good pitches and threw a great game,” Bailey said.
Schaake said Flack continues to impress him. “He works fast, he works down in the strike and his ball moves,” the manager said.
Cluck viewed it as an old-fashioned pitching duel. “Grzywacz pitched a heck of a game for us and their starter did a good job. Give them credit. They got the timely double, moved the runner over and got him in for a run.”
Metro East is scheduled to welcome Troy at 7:30 Tuesday night in Edwardsville’s Hoppe Park. The Bears play host to Highland in a 7:30 game Wednesday at Moore Park.