Division battle down to the wire

Waterloo second baseman Mitchell Krebs makes a play during a recent game. 

The Monroe Division of the Mon-Clair League still has four teams in contention for the title entering the final week of action. 

The Belleville Rockies lead the division at 15-5, followed by the Fairview Heights Redbirds at 15-7, Waterloo Millers at 14-6 and Millstadt Green Machine at 13-9.

The Valmeyer Lakers sit in last place at 6-18.

Waterloo, which went 2-1 over the weekend to remain in the hunt, hosts Cape Girardeau on Wednesday night and Millstadt for two on Saturday before traveling to Belleville for a crucial Sunday doubleheader.

Belleville hosts the St. Louis Latinos on Saturday.

The Millers finished a game with the Charleston Riverdogs on Saturday that was postponed earlier this season due to rain, winning 6-4. 

Waterloo plated three runs each in the sixth and seventh innings for the come-from-behind victory.

Mike Ward smacked a three-run homer and Jared Jones hit a two-run double for the Millers. Keegan Baxmeyer was 1-for-3 with an RBI.

On Sunday, Waterloo split a doubleheader with the Rockies. 

Reid Hendrickson was masterful in a complete game pitching effort for the Millers in game one. Waterloo won 3-1. 

Ethan Ruff went 2-for-3 with three stolen bases and two runs. Mitchell Krebs had a double and two RBIs.

Mike Breyman hit a solo home run for the Rockies in the sixth.

In game two, the Rockies powered their way to a 7-2 victory. Mike Hardin had two homers and three RBIs and Austin Werner also homered for Belleville.

Grant Jausel and Ben Klostermeier pitched for the Millers in the loss.

Hendrickson, a righthander who pitches at Jefferson College, is 2-0 on the season with a 1.05 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 33 and one-third innings to lead the Millers staff.

Parker Stidham is 4-3 with a 3.20 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 39 and one-third innings. 

Brenden Garza is 4-1 with a 3.46 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 28 and one-third innings.

Baxmeyer continues to lead the Waterloo offense, hitting .386 with 13 RBIs and 12 runs. 

Ruff is hitting .351 with 14 stolen bases and 17 runs in the leadoff spot.

Other key hitters for the Millers are Krebs (.342, 14 runs), Jones (.345) Brad Dillenberger (.355) and Logan Mueth (.342).

Late season add-on DJ Miller is hitting .500 (9-for-18).

Millstadt went 2-2 over the weekend, sweeping Valmeyer but losing twice to Fairview Heights.

On Saturday, the Green Machine won 15-5 and 7-4 over Valmeyer.

On Sunday, Millstadt suffered a pair of one-run losses to the Redbirds, 1-0 and 8-7.

Andrew Yancik leads the Millstadt pitching staff at 4-2 with a 2.05 ERA in 44 and one-third innings. 

Cal Kossina is 3-4 with a 3.85 ERA in 40 innings and leads the Green Machine in hitting at .407 with nine RBIs.

Other top hitters for Millstadt are John Hilpert (.369, 10 RBIs), Matt Janocik (.353), Tony Kossina (.348, 12 stolen bases, 20 runs) and Michael Jacobsen (.324).

Valmeyer closes its regular season at home against Fairview Heights on Saturday. 

The top hitters for the Lakers this season are Matt Reinholz (.396), Cole Juelfs (.347), Mitch Meyer (.333), John Wuelling (.333) and Mark Nappier (.311).

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