Gibault and Columbia were just trying to get their pitching set for regionals. Waterloo and Valmeyer were hoping to play good, solid baseball to close the regular season.
Saturday’s Monroe County Baseball Tournament featured four close games between the Eagles and Pirates, Bulldogs and Hawks, Bulldogs and Eagles and Hawks and Pirates — plus a coaching milestone to boot. When the dust cleared in the afternoon, Waterloo took home the trophy as this year’s tourney champs.
With Waterloo’s win over Gibault in the first game at WHS, longtime Bulldogs head coach Mark Vogel earned his 400th win. The Hawks are no stranger to having Vogel earn a coaching milestone against them.
” It’s not any more special coming against Gibault,” Vogel said after the game. “Oddly enough in 2004, win 200 and in 2010, win 300, came against them as well. They have a heck of a program and they are awfully good.”
Back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning gave Waterloo a 6-3 lead after they trailed by three runs early, and their pitching held on to secure victory. Ryan Aycock connected for a two-run homer, which was followed immediately by Tyler McAlister’s solo blast.
In the other morning contest, Columbia’s Josh Fleming pitched a complete game as the Eagles edged Valmeyer, 3-2, at SPPS Field. Jacob Hill — who made an amazing catch in the outfield earlier in the game — hit a bases loaded single in the bottom of the sixth to break a 1-1 tie. That was followed up by an RBI groundout from Kyle Gudeman.
In the tourney title game, Waterloo received solid pitching and defense and scraped together enough runs to topple the Eagles, 4-0. Columbia managed just two hits the entire game.
Waterloo’s coach welcomed the Saturday wins after having lost one-run games Thursday against Althoff and Friday against Granite City.
“We are just trying to get on a roll… we can’t seem to get out of our own way sometimes,” Vogel said. “I’m hoping this will kind of kickstart us a bit.”
Gibault defeated Valmeyer in the third place game at SPPS Field, 6-5.
Read more on the county tourney in the May 21 print edition of the award-winning Republic-Times newspaper.
(with additional reporting from Greg Stanek)