It was not the best day for a baseball game, but compared to the weather over the past week, it was a relief to play ball. After having several games canceled due to the snow Monroe County received from Mother Nature, Valmeyer (3-5) and Columbia (7-1) got together on Saturday for a friendly pick-up double header.
“This is a chance for both teams to shake the rust off after not having played for the last week because of the weather,” Valmeyer baseball coach Greg Reinhardt said. “This is a chance for us to play a good team like Columbia, who is not on our schedule this year. It will help us later on in the season in regionals to be more battle tested.”
CHS jumped out to an early 7-0 lead after the first inning of game one. Columbia’s Brendan DePoy had the big hit in the inning, driving in three runs. The Eagles would then add a run in the third to go up 8-0.
The Pirates had runners on first and third in the fourth inning but could not get the key hit they needed to score. Columbia capitalized on that, loading the bases in the fifth and scoring two runs on a ground ball to short and a throwing error to first base.
Valmeyer was unable to push a run across in the bottom of the fifth and Columbia came out on top of game No. 1 of the double header, 10-0.
The next game would prove to be quite different from the first as Columbia’s Austin Floarke and Valmeyer’s Dakota Maus hooked up in a classic pitchers duel.
“These are the kind of games I like. Low scoring, great pitching and the defense making good plays,” Columbia coach Keith Jany explained. “It was a great game. Both teams played well.”
Columbia struck first on a grounder from the bat of K.J. Spisak to go up, 1-0, in the second. Valmeyer pulled even in the bottom of the fourth when Maus led off with a double. He would later be driven in by Mark Nappier to tie the game, 1-1.
In the top of the fifth, Columbia’s Evan Dake drew a walk then stole second base. He moved over to third on a passed ball before scoring on a sacrifice fly from Reed Greatting’s bat, giving Columbia the lead, 2-1.
The sixth inning saw both teams get runners to third but neither team was able to get the key hit they needed to score. Columbia had a runner on in the top of the seventh but was unable to get an insurance run home.
In the bottom of the seventh, Valmeyer’s Griffen Seidler led off with a single. His teammate, Chris Hanson, followed with a sacrifice bunt, moving Seidler into scoring position at second. With two outs and the tying run on, Maus flew-out deep to center, giving Columbia a close, 2-1, win in game No. 2 on Saturday.
Columbia got back into regular season action Monday, taking on Metro East Lutheran in a 13-3 Eagles stomping. Seniors Evan Dake and DePoy each hit one over the fence, while sophomore Brendan Wilhelm pitched the five-inning short game, tossing six strikes.