Baseball teams blasting ahead

Gibault’s Austin Sweeney celebrates after scoring against Columbia at GCS Ballpark on Friday night. For more photos of recent baseball action, click here. (Corey Saathoff photo)

The high school baseball season is heating up as local squads enter the heart of their regular season schedules.

It had been smooth sailing for Waterloo (8-2) this spring until  Monday’s Mississippi Valley Conference opener against Mascoutah. The Bulldogs lost 6-1.

The game was tied 1-1 in the sixth until Mascoutah plated five runs to pull away.

On Saturday, Waterloo won 10-0 over Cahokia and 11-2 over Gibault. 

Nick Schlemmer struck out five in four and two-thirds innings of shutout pitching and Logan Hopfinger went 3-for-4 with two RBIs against Cahokia.

Tyson Roedl doubled and tripled with three RBIs and Ty Kueper and Josh Wittenauer added two hits apiece in the win over cross-town rival Gibault. Dustin Crawford struck out seven in the complete game mound victory.

Last Wednesday, the Bulldogs blasted Valmeyer, 11-3. Kyle Ronat hit his first varsity home run and Drake Downing struck out seven over four innings.

Waterloo hopes to enjoy some home cooking over the next few days, hosting Highland on Wednesday, Mater Dei on Friday, Pinckneyville on Saturday and Triad on Monday.

Ty Kueper is hitting .550 with six doubles and nine RBIs for the ‘Dogs, followed by Marcus Heusohn at .412, Trey Kueper at .409 with nine runs and Wittenauer at .400 with eight RBIs.

Gibault (11-2) won 12-8 last Tuesday at Father McGivney. Eric Schreder went 2-for-3 with four RBIs and Ian Metcalf went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. The game was tied 8-8 after five innings.

On Friday, the Hawks pulled out a thrilling 1-0 victory over rival Columbia at GCS Ballpark in Sauget. With the game tied 0-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Metcalf’s single up the middle scored Austin Sweeney.

That was all the offense starting pitcher Mark Branz needed. He struck out nine in six and two-thirds innings of shutout ball before leaving due to the pitch count limit. Nick Weilbacher came on to record a one-out save.

On Saturday, the Hawks won 11-0 over Cahokia before falling to the Bulldogs.

Metcalf threw five shutout innings and Max Kostelac hammered a three-run homer in the win over Cahokia. Cole Buckner homered for the Hawks in the loss to Waterloo.

The Hawks played at Mascoutah on Tuesday, play at Okawville on Thursday and at Wesclin on Friday.

Branz is hitting .488 with 11 doubles, 16 RBIs, 15 runs and 11 stolen bases to lead Gibault’s offense and is 2-0 on the mound with a 2.39 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 14.7 innings.

Other key players this season for the Hawks have been Metcalf (.462, 10 RBIs), Sweeney (.378, 17 runs) and Buckner (.375, 15 RBIs).

Columbia (9-4) posted an 11-1 win at Carlyle last Tuesday. AJ Mueller homered and Shane Wilhelm had two triples and three RBIs in addition to eight strikeouts in four hitless innings pitched.

Wilhelm went 2-for-3 with a double in Friday’s loss to Gibault. 

On Monday, the Eagles suffered a 6-3 defeat at Red Bud. Sam Horner went 2-for-4 with two runs and Brandon Kuchinski took the loss on the mound.

Columbia played at Salem on Tuesday, plays at Breese Central on Thursday, battles Belleville East and Mater Dei in Belleville on Saturday and hosts Marquette on Monday.

Horner is hitting .500 with 18 runs scored, followed by Jonah James at .389 with 12 RBIs and Mueller at .388 with four homers and 21 RBIs.

Wilhelm is hitting .341 and is 2-1 with a 1.07 ERA on the mound.

Valmeyer (8-7) won 17-0 against Lebanon last Tuesday. Jacob Rowold doubled and had four RBIs and Logan Seidler went 2-for-3 with three RBIs in addition to striking out five in four innings pitched.

Philip Reinhardt went 3-for-4.

The Pirates were held to just four hits in their 11-3 loss at home to Waterloo last Wednesday.

On Saturday, Valmeyer split a doubleheader at home against Valle Catholic, losing 9-5 and winning 8-7. 

Riley McCarthy led Valmeyer’s offense on the day, going 6-for-10 with six RBIs. Reinhardt picked up a pitching win.

Valmeyer played at Steeleville on Tuesday, hosts Dupo on Thursday, plays at South Central on Saturday, and battles the St. Louis Patriots at GCS Ballpark on Monday.

McCarthy is hitting .479 with 24 RBIs and 15 runs, followed by Reinhardt at .367 with 10 RBIs and Rowold at .366 with 18 runs.

Reinhardt is 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA on the mound and Rowold is 2-1 with a 0.89 ERA.

Dupo (3-6) won 6-2 over Chester last Wednesday. Camden Biggs went 2-for-3 with two runs and Devin Similey picked up the pitching win.

Last Tuesday, the Tigers lost 11-2 to New Athens. Noah Chism and Tyler Kyle contributed two hits each.

Dupo played at Lebanon on Tuesday and will be at Valmeyer on Thursday before hosting Wesclin next Wednesday.

Kyle leads the team in hitting at .448 with 10 runs, followed by Similey at .367.

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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.
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