The diamonds are finally becoming consistently dry enough for local teams to get into a rhythm this spring following recent rains as the high school baseball regular season kicks into high gear.
After two low-scoring wins earlier in the week, the Bulldog bats came alive against Collinsville.
Trailing 2-0, Waterloo rallied for seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, propelling them over Collinsville, 7-3, in Friday morning action.
The big hits in the inning came from Sean O’Guin, Austin Campbell, Ryan Aycock, Reid Hoffmann, Christian Schmidt, Austin Nunnery and Jonny Albers.
Aycock and Campbell each had two hits in the game, and Campbell picked up the win on the mound with a solid two-and-one-third innings of relief.
It was the third win last week for the ‘Dogs, who scored in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out a 2-1 win last Wednesday at home against conference foe Jerseyville. Taylor Vernier went 3-for-3 to lead the offense behind another solid pitching effort.
Last Tuesday, Waterloo opened Mississippi Valley Conference play with a 2-0 win at Triad. Nunnery picked up another victory on the mound.
Waterloo (9-2-1) improved to 3-0 in the MVC with another offensive explosion, 10-5, over Civic Memorial on Monday.
The Bulldogs were up 10-0 after four innings before CM tallied some runs at the end.
Albers was 2-for-3 with three RBIs in the game, and has been strong at the plate this season with two strikes and two outs.
“Jonny’s been a big plus for us offensively of late,” Waterloo head coach Mark Vogel said. “He has a really good two-strike approach.”
Aycock had three more hits Monday, and is now batting .386 this spring.
The Bulldogs face a stiff conference test Wednesday as they take on Mascoutah. Waterloo plays Friday at Belleville East and hosts Valmeyer on Saturday and Highland on Monday.
The Eagles are 11-4 on the spring and carried a five-game winning streak into Tuesday’s game at Wesclin.
Columbia won three games last week, edging out Freeburg last Tuesday, 2-1.
Lefty Josh Fleming was outstanding on the mound once again with a complete game, allowing just three hits and striking out seven.
Patrick McDermott, Cam Touchette, KJ Spisak and Cam Shewfelt each had hits in the win.
Last Wednesday, the Eagles blasted New Athens, 10-0, behind a five-inning complete game from Jacob Hill. He allowed just two hits while striking out five. Matt Hutchinson led the offense with two hits and an RBI, while Shewfelt and Quinten Spivey had two RBIs apiece.
Spencer Jerome also scored three runs in the game.
Thursday, Columbia capped off its successful week with a 3-1 conference win over Breese Central. Brendan Wilhelm came one out away from the complete game, as Cole Foster came in to record the last out and earn the save.
Zach Mathews led the of
fense with two doubles, while Shewfelt had two RBIs.
“I wouldn’t say we are clicking on all cylinders, but we are playing well,” Columbia head coach Keith Jany said. “We are getting good pitching and our defense is making the plays. I would like to see our offense continue to be more consistent with quality at-bats and string a few more hits together, but these guys are competitors and I love that about them.”
The Eagles play Carlyle Thursday and at Dupo on Monday.
The Hawks are 12-5 following recent wins against Vianney, Okawville and Cahokia,
Last Wednesday, Gibault used a 2-for-3 day from Jordan McFarland and solid pitching from ace Zach Neff to post a 2-1 win over Vianney.
Thursday, McFarland continued his hot-hitting spring by blasting another home run as part of a 3-for-3 day as the Hawks defeated Okawville, 9-2. Auggie Ward went the distance on the mound and helped his own cause with three hits at the plate.
Monday, the Hawks pounded out 13 hits and Neff collected another win on the hill in a 17-0 shortgame win over Cahokia.
Gibault hosts Belleville East on Wednesday, plays at Whitfield on Friday and travels to play Freeburg and Roxana on Saturday.
The Pirates have won three of their past four games, including a 14-4 blasting of Wood River on Monday.
Hunter Brewer pitched five strong innings, striking out seven for the win.
Dakota Maus went 4-for-4 at the plate with two doubles, two RBIs and two stolen bases. Eric Smith was 2-for-5 with four RBIs, a double and two stolen bases.
Thursday, the Pirates won behind a dominant pitching performance from Maus, 4-1 over Marissa.
On Friday, Valmeyer split a doubleheader against Brussels. In the first game, Valmeyer won 10-0 as Mark Nappier, Griffin Seidler and Smith provided the offensive firepower.
The Pirates fell behind 8-0 in the second game before rallying to make it close. They lost in the end, 8-7.
“(We made it) exciting at the end,” Valmeyer head coach Greg Reinhardt said. “We had the bases loaded and couldn’t get the big hit.”
Valmeyer hosts Steeleville Thursday and plays at Waterloo on Saturday.
The Tigers sit at 8-6 and are making a run for the top of the conference. Dupo lost a close one to a tough Lebanon team last Tuesday, 4-3.
“We had a bunch of chances late in the game,” Dupo head coach Brad Daubach said.
Thursday, the Tigers topped Steeleville in a tight game, 6-5. Jordan Prange came on for five innings of relief and picked up the win on the mound.
Steeleville had the bases loaded and stranded the runners as Prange got the final hitter to pop out to first and secure the win.
Chance Hagler was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Brett Aldridge was 2-for-4 with a triple.
“We played really solid defense behind Prange to slip away from the 11 walks we issued to their batters,” Daubach said.
Saturday, Dupo lost to Carlyle, 7-3. Two critical errors in the fourth inning cost the Tigers dearly.
Jason Smith came off the bench to go 2-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI. Larry Scheppelman was 2-for-3 with a double.
Dupo played Valmeyer Tuesday and has games against Wesclin Wednesday and New Athens on Thursday.
“All are big games and could swing our season either way,” Daubach said.