The high school baseball season was jam-packed with highlights from local teams, and that says a lot about the quality of talent on area diamonds.
Waterloo and Valmeyer both won conference and regional titles, Columbia shared a conference title, and Dupo and Gibault also fielded competitive squads.
Here is our 2016 All-Local Baseball Team, which is headed by two Waterloo players who were named all-state.
Jordan McFarland, Waterloo – McFarland, who was drafted in the 36th round of the recent Major League Baseball draft by the Washington Nationals but opted to forego the pros for now and play ball at the University of Arkansas, hit .500 with 10 doubles, six home runs, 31 RBIs, 49 runs scored and a school-record 37 stolen bases for the Bulldogs this past spring. He also had a .775 slugging percentage. He was named to the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association Class 3A All-State Team.
Tyler McAlister, Waterloo – McAlister, who will pitch at Missouri State University next season, went 8-3 with a 0.60 ERA and 62 strikeouts on the mound for the Bulldogs and also hit .440 with five home runs and 39 RBIs. He threw a 1-0 no-hitter against Columbia on May 28 in the regional championship game. He was also named to the IHSBCA Class 3A All-State Team.
Mark Nappier, Valmeyer – This senior led the Pirates to their first regional title in 45 years, hitting .420 with 10 home runs, 49 RBIs, 11 doubles and 35 runs to rank among the top power hitters in the entire St. Louis area.
Cam Touchette, Columbia – Another senior, Touchette hit .534 for the Eagles with 29 runs scored, 23 RBIs and 10 stolen bases as a left-handed hitting outfielder.
Drake Harvell, Dupo – This senior did it all for the Tigers this spring, hitting .516 with 30 RBIs at the plate and also compiling a 7-3 mark with a 2.96 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 57 innings pitched.
Easton Wallace, Valmeyer – Another all-around talent, this junior infielder hit .481 with 35 runs scored, 32 RBIs and 18 stolen bases and also went 6-1 on the mound with a 2.80 ERA.
Trevor Davis, Gibault – This junior is mostly known for his hoops skills, but Davis also put together quite a season on the diamond. He hit .380 with 24 RBIs, 17 runs and 11 stolen bases and also went 3-4 on the mound with a 2.86 ERA.
Austin Francis, Dupo – A senior catcher, Francis hit .443 with 36 runs scored and 25 RBIs and was 1-1 on the mound.
Kane Osterhage, Waterloo – Another senior leader for the Bulldogs, Osterhage hit .351 with 35 runs and 24 stolen bases while playing solid defense at shortstop.
Jake Krekel, Valmeyer – Only a sophomore, Krekel hit .393 with 44 runs scored, 11 doubles and 22 stolen bases for the Pirates this spring.
Noah Thaggard, Waterloo – This senior pitcher was the heart and soul of a Bulldogs squad that finished 27-7. Thaggard went 8-1 with a 2.22 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched.
Cameron Roth, Columbia – A senior outfielder, Roth hit .364 with a team-leading 25 RBIs for the Eagles this spring.
Tyler Brinkmann, Gibault – This junior outfielder shows promise for a successful senior campaign. He hit .361 with five triples, 24 runs and 20 RBIs for the Hawks.
Collin Roth, Dupo – Roth hit .361 with 28 runs scored and 20 RBIs for the Tigers this spring.
Andrew Hoguet, Columbia – This crafty senior lefty went 6-3 with a 2.13 ERA and 54 strikeouts in 66 innings pitched for the Eagles.
Cole Kaiping, Waterloo – Another Bulldogs senior, Kaiping hit .348 with 12 RBIs and went 2-1 with a 1.05 ERA and two saves on the mound in a season that was limited due to injury.
Erik Kaiser, Waterloo – Kaiser enjoyed a strong junior season for the Bulldogs, going 5-0 with a 1.36 ERA on the mound and posting a .306 average with 23 RBIs at the plate.
Taylor Stanek, Dupo – Stanek went 5-0 on the mound with a 3.76 ERA and also hit .297 with 18 RBIs for the Tigers.
Luke Watson, Columbia – Only a sophomore, Watson went 7-2 with a 3.14 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 56 innings pitched for the Eagles. The future looks bright.
Cole Juelfs, Valmeyer – Another super sophomore, Juelfs went 5-1 with a 2.01 ERA on the mound and hit .274 with 13 stolen bases while playing solid defense at shortstop.
Tyler Kempfer (Valmeyer), Ryan Gudeman (Columbia), Hayden Bender (Waterloo), Brandon Roth (Dupo), Jake Hart (Dupo), Michael Chism (Valmeyer), Erickson Wallace (Valmeyer), Kyle Steve (Columbia), Lamont Read (Columbia), Johnny Francescon (Gibault), Alex Stern (Gibault), Collin Kessler (Gibault).