Baseball season entering home stretch - Republic-Times | News

Baseball season entering home stretch

By on May 9, 2018 at 4:42 pm

The Columbia baseball team poses with its title trophy after winning the O’Fallon/Triad Classic on Saturday. (submitted photo)

The regular season is winding down as local high school baseball teams try to get ready for regional play. 

But before the playoffs begin, bragging rights are at stake in the Monroe County Baseball Tournament this Saturday in Waterloo.

Columbia just keeps finding ways to win, improving to 19-3 following a top showing in the O’Fallon/Triad Classic over the weekend.

The Eagles defeated Triad on Friday, 4-2. Luke Watson went the distance on the mound, striking out six. Dylan Hildebrand and Shane Wilhelm drove in two runs each.

On Saturday, Columbia took down two tough teams to win the tourney.

The Eagles first edged Mascoutah, 6-4, with Brandon Kuchinski earning the mound victory. Sam Spivey homered and drove in two runs, with Jordan Holmes adding two doubles. 

Valmeyer’s John Fausz makes a dazzling catch in the outfield during last Wednesday’s win against Mt. Zion at Busch Stadium. For more photos from the game, go to (John Spytek photo)

Columbia then avenged its last defeat, which was back on March 20, by topping O’Fallon to win the tourney, 9-6. John Schoentag earned the pitching win. 

O’Fallon, which entered the game as one of the top-ranked teams in the state, got out to a 3-0 lead before the Eagles plated nine runs in the fifth. The Panthers clawed back to make it a 9-6 game, and loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh before Alex Von Bokel came on for the save.

The Eagles won 12-3 at Salem last Tuesday. Wilhelm struck out 10 without issuing a walk in the complete game pitching effort. 

Wilhelm leads the Eagles offense with a .480 batting average and .557 on base percentage to go along with nine doubles, four triples, 12 stolen bases and 26 runs. He is also 3-1 on the mound.

Other hot hitters for Columbia include Holmes (.404), Brennen van Breusegen (.400), Hildebrand (.400) and Spivey (.343).

Watson is 4-1 with a 2.76 ERA to lead the Columbia pitching staff.

Columbia played at Carlyle Tuesday, plays at Collinsville on Wednesday, hosts Freeburg Thursday and plays at Breese Central on Friday.

Columbia will tangle with Valmeyer to open county tourney play 10 a.m. Saturday at Waterloo High School. The winner will then battle the winner of Waterloo vs. Gibault, which takes place 10 a.m. Saturday at SPPS Field.

Valmeyer (22-7) dropped all three of its games in the O’Fallon/Triad Classic against larger schools. The Pirates lost 5-2 to Normal University High on Friday despite a 16-strikeout effort from sophomore pitcher Philip Reinhardt.

On Saturday, Valmeyer lost 13-3 to O’Fallon and 7-6 to Triad in eight innings. Jake Krekel had two hits against O’Fallon; Reinhardt and Tyler Kempfer collected two hits each against Triad.

The Pirates fulfilled the dreams of players, coaches and parents by playing on the home field of the St. Louis Cardinals following the big league club’s early afternoon contest last Wednesday. Valmeyer defeated Mt. Zion, 6-5, with Krekel and Logan Seidler each collecting two hits. 

The Pirates also won last Tuesday, 15-5 over Marissa. Krekel and Andrew Whipple collected four hits each; Reinhardt and Kempfer added three hits and three RBIs each.

Reinhardt leads the Pirates offense with a .462 batting average and .533 on base percentage to go along with 29 runs and 21 RBIs.

Other key hitters for Valmeyer include Cole Juelfs (.386), Krekel (.360) and Drew Maus (.352).

Juelfs is 5-1 with a 1.81 ERA on the mound. Maus is also 5-1 with a 2.54 ERA. Reinhardt is 2-2 with a 1.47 ERA.

Valmeyer hosted New Athens on Tuesday, and will open Class 1A postseason play in the Metro East Lutheran Regional on May 16, taking on the winner of Lebanon vs. Mulberry Grove. The regional final is May 19.

Waterloo (14-9) entered play Tuesday needing two wins to give longtime head coach Mark Vogel 500 career victories. He could accomplish the feat Wednesday at home against Civic Memorial.

On Monday, the Bulldogs won 9-2 at Jerseyville. Ty Kueper went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Josh Wittenauer added three hits. Nathan Albrecht went the distance on the mound.

Waterloo dropped a contest with Mt. Vernon at GCS Ballpark on Friday by the score of 5-1. 

On Saturday, the Bulldogs won 3-1 and 22-2 at Mater Dei. Quinten Albrecht went 5-for-6 with four RBIs on the day. Danny Tharp went 5-for-8 with four runs scored on the day. 

Waterloo (11-8) lost at home to Triad last Wednesday, 13-2.

Quinten Albrecht is hitting .479 with five homers, 27 RBIs and 23 runs to lead the Bulldogs. Tharp is hitting .457 with 21 runs and seven stolen bases.

Lucas Goodsell is 3-3 with a 1.83 ERA to lead the pitching staff. Nathan Albrecht is 3-1 with a 3.57 ERA.

The ‘Dogs play Granite City on Friday. 

Gibault (8-18) lost 6-2 to Red Bud on Monday. The Musketeers plated four runs in the first inning. Mark Branz went 2-for-4 with a double and also threw five solid innings, striking out 11.

On Saturday, Gibault defeated Belleville West but lost to Althoff in Belleville. In the 9-2 win over West, Austin Sweeney and Ian Metcalf led the Hawks with two hits each. Cam Kincheloe went the distance on the mound, striking out nine.

Gibault snapped an eight-game losing skid with a 6-4 win at home last Wednesday over Mater Dei. Kincheloe and Mason McFarland finished with two hits each to lead the Hawks,  who played at Highland on Tuesday and take on Dupo Wednesday. 

Branz leads the Hawks in hitting at .425 with a .523 on base percentage and 26 runs. Kincheloe is hitting .300 and Tim Reinholz is hitting .297 with 26 RBIs.

Gibault will host a Class 1A regional, taking on Okawville on May 17. Dupo is also in the regional and will open against Marissa on May 14.

Dupo (3-16) lost 4-0 at Herculaneum on Friday. 

The Tigers are led offensively by Robert Seager (.280), Tyler Kyle (.278) and Robbie Smith (.276). Adam Bradshaw leads the pitching staff at 1-3 with a 2.49 ERA. 

Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.