Baseball season rounding into form
Some local baseball teams are starting to put all the components together for success while others are still searching for consistency.
Waterloo entered the spring with high expectations and is living up to the hype during its current eight-game winning streak.
The Bulldogs have outscored opponents 56-9 during the streak, which includes recent conference wins against Triad, Highland and Jerseyville.
Last Wednesday, Waterloo opened Mississippi Valley Conference play at Triad with an 11-0 win. Jordan McFarland led the way offensively by going 3-for-4 with five stolen bases, two RBIs and two runs scored. Kane Osterhage went 2-for-3 with two runs and Tyler McAlister threw five shutout innings with five strikeouts.
The ‘Dogs combined strong pitching and timely hitting again in a 5-0 victory over defending state champion Highland on Thursday. McFarland went 2-for-2 with three more stolen bases and three runs scored. Noah Thaggard went the distance on the mound, striking out nine.
Waterloo plated two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning at home against Collinsville, including a home run by McFarland, in a 2-0 win on Friday. Erik Kaiser continued the mound mastery for the Bulldogs, striking out 10 over six innings pitched while allowing just one hit.
On Saturday, Waterloo swept a doubleheader at Pinckneyville, 10-1 and 6-1. Cole Milam went 2-for-4 with a double and home run in game one. McFarland, Max Jennings and Hayden Bender collected two hits apiece. Aaron Laskowski pitched a complete game with four strikeouts.
In game two, Kaiser had two RBIs and the team made the most of eight total hits in the 6-2 win.
The ‘Dogs returned home to face Jerseyville on Monday, winning 5-1. McFarland and McAlister each hit home runs and McAlister was dominant on the mound, striking out 10 while allowing no earned runs for the complete game win.
McAlister’s fastball was clocked in the low 90s and his curveball was buckling the knees of many Jerseyville hitters all game.
“He’s really on his game right now,” Waterloo head coach Mark Vogel said. “It’s definitely fun to watch him pitch.”
McAlister is 4-1 with a 0.25 ERA so far this season. He is also hitting .367.
McFarland is hitting .569 to lead the ‘Dogs with four home runs, 17 RBIs, 25 runs and 21 stolen bases.
Kaiser is hitting .375 and is 2-0 with a 0.54 ERA on the mound. Osterhage is hitting .415 with 14 stolen bases for Waterloo, who plays at Civic Memorial on Wednesday and at Belleville East on Friday…>>>
Read this story in the April 20 issue of the Republic-Times. If you don’t already receive the paper, you can subscribe by calling 939-3814 or clicking here. Or you can pick up a copy at the R-T office at 205 W. Mill Street in Waterloo or at any of these other locations.