Bulldogs barking loud in MVC
The Waterloo High School baseball team is clicking on all cylinders as the Mississippi Valley Conference schedule heads into the final stretch.
The Bulldogs improved to 17-4 overall and a perfect 7-0 in the MVC with a 6-0 victory at home over Triad on Monday, followed by an 8-7 win at Jerseyville on Wednesday.
Strong starting pitching has combined with speed and power on offense for Waterloo.
Waterloo ace Tyler McAlister pitched a complete game one-hitter, striking out 11 while walking none in Monday’s win. Jordan McFarland went 2-for-4 with a home run and stolen base to keep the line moving on offense.
Cole Kaiping went 2-for-4 with four RBIs and McAlister added a 2-for-3 day with two RBIs in the win at Jerseyville.
“We can always get better, but we are playing very well right now as a team,” Waterloo head coach Mark Vogel said.
Against MVC foe Highland on Thursday, Noah Thaggard went the distance on the mound with nine strikeouts in a 4-1 win. McFarland, Kane Osterhage and Erik Kaiser collected two hits each to down the defending state champions for the second time this spring.
The Bulldogs hold a two-game lead over Jerseyville in the MVC race with games against Civic Memorial (May 9), Mascoutah (May 11) and Civic Memorial (May 18) left on the schedule.
In a non-conference game on Friday, Waterloo dismantled Centralia, 11-1. Kaiser posted seven strikeouts in five innings pitched for the win. Cole Milam went 2-for-2 with a home run and three RBIs. McFarland added a 2-for-3 day with three stolen bases and three runs scored.
McFarland is hitting .582 with five home runs, 21 RBIs, 34 runs and 25 stolen bases to pace the offense.
McAlister is 6-1 with a 0.35 ERA on the mound and is also hitting .381.
Senior shortstop Osterhage is hitting .429 with 25 runs and 18 stolen bases in the leadoff spot.
Kaiser is hitting .404 with 19 RBIs at the plate and is 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA on the mound.
Eagles post wins
Columbia got back on the winning track following a recent rough stretch.
The Eagles topped Mascoutah on Friday and Red Bud on Monday to improve to 12-9 on the season.
Columbia was up 5-0 after five innings against Mascoutah and held on for the 5-3 win. Lamont Read went 1-for-2 with three RBIs and Cameron Touchette was 1-for-1 with two runs.
The Eagles pulled out a 6-4 victory over Red Bud. Luke Watson pitched six strong innings, striking out six. Jonny Holmes went 1-for-2 with two RBIs. Touchette drew three walks and scored two runs.
Columbia dropped a hard-fought 4-3 contest at Freeburg on Thursday. The Eagles scored two to tie the game in the sixth inning, but Freeburg broke that tie in the bottom of the sixth to emerge victorious.
Mitch Daniels went 2-for-3 for the Eagles, who played at Breese Central on Tuesday, host Wesclin on Thursday, and play in the O’Fallon tournament over the weekend.
“Our pitching has continued to be a strength and has given us a chance to win in almost every game,” Columbia head coach Neal O’Donnell said. “We have let some games get away from us with defensive miscues and mental mistakes that have cost us. We have a very small margin for error, and our mistakes have cost us in games we have lost. We want to play our best baseball of the season in the next few weeks, and I feel we haven’t peaked yet.”
Hawks drop below .500
Gibault is 11-13 on the season and is in the midst of a seven-game losing streak.
The Hawks lost 15-2 at Civic Memorial on Thursday, followed by losses to Vianney and Lutheran South on Saturday and an 8-3 defeat to Alton on Monday.
Alex Stern has been a bright spot for Gibault. He collected two hits against CM, went 1-for-3 with an RBI against Vianney, and added two more hits against Lutheran South. Stern is hitting .359 on the season with 22 runs.
Drew Dugan went 1-for-3 with three RBIs against Alton.
Trevor Davis (.405) and Tyler Brinkmann (.397) are Gibault’s top two hitters this spring.
The Hawks host Mater Dei on Wednesday and play at Althoff on Saturday.
Pirates, Tigers to tangle
Valmeyer and Dupo will do battle on Thursday with a Kaskaskia Division title likely hanging in the balance.
The two teams split the division crown last season, and Dupo won the first matchup this season, 2-1.
The Pirates are 6-1 in the division and the Tigers are 5-1.
Valmeyer is 15-10-1, dropping two games to Alton on Saturday. The Pirates topped Red Bud on Friday, 7-2.
Senior slugger Mark Nappier smashed home runs in each of the two games against Alton. He is now hitting .451 with seven homers and 40 RBIs. His RBI total is tops in the entire St. Louis area.
“Mark is such a mentally tough hitter,” Valmeyer head coach Greg Reinhardt said. “He is either number one or two on my list of best hitters I’ve ever coached.”
Tyler Kempfer and Michael Chism collected three hits each in the win over Red Bud. Cole Juelfs added two hits and threw six strong innings for the pitching victory.
Dupo is 13-5 on the season following Thursday’s 12-0 win over Lebanon.
Drake Harvell went 3-for-3 with four RBIs. Austin Francis went 2-for-2 with three RBIs. Taylor Stanek struck out eight in four innings on the mound.
Harvell is hitting .489 with 22 RBIs to go along with his 6-2 pitching mark.
Francis is hitting .488 with 28 runs scored.
Stanek is 4-0 with a 3.36 ERA on the mound.