Baseball teams get back into swing of things

Umpires dusted off home plate and yelled “Play ball!” to start the 2014 high school baseball season last week.

Gibault, Columbia, Valmeyer and Dupo were all in action, while Waterloo gets set to open this week.

Gibault, the defending Class 1A state champ, is now in Class 2A. The Hawks went 3-1 in their opening week.

Last Tuesday against Valmeyer, Gibault scored 5 runs in the third inning en route to a 6-0 win. Jordan McFarland hit a homerun and Mitch Meyer went 2-for-4 at the plate with a stolen base.

Lefty Zach Neff pitched three innings and recorded 5 strikeouts for the win.

Dakota Maus and Zach Williams collected the only hits for the Pirates.

The Hawks made it two wins in a row to start the season with an 11-6 victory Friday over New Athens. Gibault plated 4 runs in the first inning and 5 runs in the sixth.

Freshman Tyler Brinkmann pitched 5 innings for the win, allowing just two hits. Chandler Purcell was the offensive star with 3 doubles and 3 RBIs on the day. Neff, Auggie Ward and Alec Skaer chipped in with two hits apiece.

On Saturday, Gibault hosted Roxana in the morning and Jerseyville in the afternoon.

The first game was exciting, as the Hawks scored in the bottom of the seventh to claim a 5-4 win. Ward and Josh Brinkmann each went 2-for-3 at the plate.

The second game was not fun if you were a Gibault fan. Jerseyville busted out the big sticks in a 19-9 win. Neff took the loss on the mound.

Ward and Meyer were bright spots in defeat; Ward went 2-for-4 with a triple and 3 RBIs, and Meyer went 3-for-4.

“Overall, we are striking out too much and we are walking too many hitters,” Gibault head coach Andy Skaer said. “When we have put the ball in play, we are hitting it with authority, but we need to cut down on the strikeouts.”

Gibault played Sparta on Tuesday and will host Marissa in a Saturday doubleheader.

Columbia is 1-1 on the young season. The Eagles split a Saturday home doubleheader against Piasa Southwestern, losing 3-2 in the first game and bouncing back for a 7-6 extra inning win in the second game.

In game one, Piasa scored 2 runs on a homer in the top of the seventh inning to pull out the win. Jacob Hill took the loss on the mound.  Offensively, Quinten Spivey went 3-for-4 at the plate with a triple, and Cameron Touchette collected 2 hits.

In game two, Columbia scored in the bottom of the 10th inning to emerge victorious. Cam Shewfelt earned the win on the mound and helped his own cause with 3 RBIs on a 1-for-4 day at the plate.

Hill also had 3 RBIs, and Touchette went 2-for-4 with 2 runs scored.

In the first game, Josh Fleming started on the mound and

hrew very well, Columbia head coach Keith Jany said, allowing 2 hits and 1 run over 4 innings with 8 strikeouts and a walk.

“Being as early in the season as it is, we didn’t want to go very far with any of our pitchers and risk any injury,” Jany said. “We had a few baserunning mistakes that ran us out of a couple of scoring opportunities, so we need to make sure we fix that, but the defense played very well and I was happy with how we swung the bats.”

In the second game, Jany said Brendan Wilhelm took the mound and threw 5 quality innings.  In the 10th inning, Hill plated Nathan Schnaak from first base on a hit-and-run double for the win.

The Eagles have plenty of upcoming games: Wednesday at Roxana, Thursday at Althoff, Saturday against Teutopolis and Greenville in Greenville, and Monday at Wood River.

Valmeyer is 2-3 after the first week of play. Following their loss to Gibault on March 18, the Pirates lost at Carlyle on Friday, 10-0.

Valmeyer earned their first win Saturday against Midland, 8-5, with Maus leading the way offensively and on the mound.

The Pirates fell in the nightcap on Saturday to Chicago Christian, 13-11. Maus, Mark Nappier and Easton Wallace collected two hits each.

With light snow falling from first pitch on, Valmeyer trounced Wood River at home on Monday, 13-3.

Williams pitched five strong inning for the Pirates, with Maus and Ethan May contributing two hits apiece.

Dupo is 1-1 on the young season following a March 20 win over Bunker Hill and a March 24 loss to Belleville East.

Corey Biggs threw 4 shutout innings and Jordan Prange threw 3 shutout innings while limiting Bunker Hill to two total hits.

“We played really good defense at Bunker Hill,” Dupo head coach Brad Daubach said.

But 6 errors and 8 walks doomed the Tigers against Belleville East.

“We hit the ball really well (against East), but right at guys in key situations,” Daubach said. “I’m really looking forward to conference play after the first two games.”

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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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