The Columbia High School baseball team seems to be clicking on all cylinders of late, using timely hitting and solid pitching to win eight straight games and 12 of their last 13.
The Eagles entered Tuesday’s game against Red Bud with a record of 14-4 following recent wins against Wesclin, Carlyle and Dupo.
“Our key to success is teamwork and guys playing for each other,” Columbia head coach Keith Jany said.
Ace lefthanded starting pitcher Josh Fleming continued his dominating spring with a complete game three-hit shutout of Wesclin last Tuesday. He struck out 10, and the offense mustered enough runs thanks to two hits from Quinten Spivey and two RBIs off the bat of Patrick McDermott in the 5-0 win.
Fleming is 6-1 on the season with a 1.23 ERA.
On Wednesday, Columbia edged past a tough Carlyle squad, 6-5.
Brendan Wilhelm threw a complete game of his own, and Spivey, Cole Foster and Camren Shewfelt had two hits each. Spivey is second on the team in hitting at .400.
The Eagles scored five runs in the first inning and held on late for the conference victory.
On Monday, the Eagles blasted Dupo 10-0 in five innings. KJ Spisak led the way offensively with a 2-for-3 day and four RBIs. Jacob Hill and Brendan Fauss also had two hits apiece.
Jany credited his team’s starting pitching as key to the winning streak, namely Fleming and Wilhelm.
“When either of these guys attack the strike zone, they can be very successful,” Jany said. “Everything that happens in this game all begins with pitching and they have really stepped up to carry us down this stretch.”
Columbia plays Freeburg on Thursday.
Gibault goes 3-2
The Hawks are now 14-7 on the season after going 3-2 in action last week.
Following lefty Zach Neff’s dominant five-inning perfect game over Cahokia last Monday, Gibault lost to a tough Belleville East team at home on Wednesday, 5-2.
Wes Degener had two hits, including a triple, in a losing effort.
On Friday, the Hawks smacked the ball around in a 17-5 win over Whitfield. Degener collected three more hits and Jordan McFarland and Neff each homered. Chase Dugan also had three hits.
Gibault split a Saturday doubleheader, losing the first game to Freeburg, 11-6. Dugan had two hits and Neff took the loss on the mound.
The Hawks bounced back in the second game against Roxana, winning 8-6. Gibault scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning and held on. Degener was 3-for-4 in the game with a home run, and Dylan McCoy earned the win on the mound.
Degener leads the team with a .484 batting average; McFarland leads the team with five homers and 25 RBIs.
Gibault played St. Pius on Tuesday and will face Civic Memorial on Thursday.
Waterloo bats go cold
Pitching has not been a prob
lem for the Bulldogs (10-5-1) this spring. Unfortunately, the offense has struggled to push across runs of late.
“We have to do a better job of swinging the bats,” Waterloo head coach Mark Vogel said. “Everybody’s pressing. We’re fighting it a little bit, but we just need to stay after it.”
Waterloo lost a tough conference tilt last Wednesday against Mascoutah, 5-2. Nathan Goodsell went 3-for-3, but the rest of the team just could not solve Mascoutah pitcher Ryan Netemeyer.
On Friday, the ‘Dogs received a stellar pitching effort from Austin Campbell, but could only muster two hits in a nine-inning 1-0 loss to Belleville East. Campbell struck out nine in seven innings.
“Austin was fantastic,” Vogel said. “Just a frustrating day for our offense.”
On Saturday, the bats woke up for the first game of two at Valmeyer. Reid Hoffmann went 3-for-3 with a home run and Christian Schmidt and Zach Schaab added two hits apiece in a 5-0 win.
Starting pitcher Tyler Hebel blanked the Pirates for six innings with 11 strikeouts.
Game two was different. Up 1-0 into the sixth, Valmeyer strung some hits together off the Waterloo bullpen to win 4-1. Corey Vogel started the game and pitched well before Valmeyer broke through late.
Waterloo was tied 3-3 with Highland on Monday before the game was suspended due to lightning in the seventh inning. The game will be resumed when Highland travels to Waterloo for a May 14 game.
Valmeyer goes 2-3
The Pirates beat Dupo last Tuesday, 5-3. Dakota Maus pitched a complete game four-hitter with 10 strikeouts and also added two hits of his own.
On Wednesday, the Pirates lost to St. Louis Christian, 6-0.
“Their big lefty held us to two hits,” Valmeyer head coach Greg Reinhardt said.
On Thursday, Valmeyer lost a tough one to Steeleville, 7-3. Zach Williams hit a two-run homer and Mark Nappier went 4-for-4 at the plate.
“We just could not get a clutch hit when we needed it,” Reinhardt said.
On Saturday, Valmeyer split its doubleheader with Waterloo. Maus was 2-for-4 with a double in the first game. In the second game, Easton Wallace, Ryan Unterseh and Maus combined to pitch a four-hitter, with Unterseh earning the win.
“Williams hit the double that scored Wallace and Nappier in the sixth inning,” Reinhardt said.
Dupo hits rough patch
The Tigers have lost five games in a row and sit at 8-10 on the season and 3-3 in conference play.
In a loss to Valmeyer last Tuesday, Dupo’s offense struggled against starting pitcher Maus.
“Joey Mirabal had an RBI triple in the first inning, but after that we only scored on their errors,” Dupo head coach Brad Daubach said.
The Tigers followed that up with a loss Wednesdsay to Wesclin, 10-2. Corey Biggs went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double.
“We gave them several extra chances by committing seven errors in the game,” Daubach said.
Thursday, Dupo scored two runs in the first inning at New Athens, only to give them two in the bottom of the first. The Tigers built up a 5-2 lead heading to the bottom of the seventh, but allowed four runs to fall 6-5.
“It was definitely the toughest loss of the season for us and the kids played six excellent innings,” Daubach said.
As for Monday’s 10-0 loss to Columbia, “we just weren’t ready to play and they were,” Daubach said. “I am at a loss for words, why we do not play well against our rivals.”