Eagles win conference crown

Columbia head coach Keith Jany congratulates his team following Thursday’s conference clinching win. (Alan Dooley photo)

The Columbia High School baseball team locked up the Cahokia Conference championship with a hard fought 4-2 victory over Wesclin at home on Thursday.

It marked Columbia’s fifth conference title in the last six years.

The Eagles (18-6) got on the board early with a run in the first inning and added two more in the second. Wesclin threatened with two runs in the fourth inning due in part to some Columbia defensive miscues, but the Eagles answered with a run of their own in their half of the fifth.

Quinten Spivey went 2-for-4 at the plate to pace Columbia’s offense.

Senior lefty ace Josh Fleming pitched marvelously once again for the Eagles, going the distance to capture his seventh win.

The day before, Columbia defeated another conference foe, Breese Central, in a 12-8 thriller. After falling behind 8-0 after two innings, the Eagles battled back. Highlighted by a seven-run sixth inning, the Eagles were led offensively by Zach Mathews (3-for-4), KJ Spisak (3-for-4 with a home run), Camren Shewfelt (3-for-5) and Fleming (3-for-4).

Cole Foster pitched three strong innings and Brett Luther came in to earn the win with three shutout innings.

“This team just never gives up, and it’s so hard to beat a team that never gives up,” Columbia head coach Keith Jany told the Republic-Times. “I think they’ve really opened up some eyes in the baseball community this year and it is so great to see them succeed because they work hard and do whatever it takes to win. They play for each other and have fun doing it.”

Friday, the Eagles lost a close game against Windsor, 7-5. Columbia carried a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning, but the Windsor offense erupted in the later innings to take the win.

Columbia plays Thursday at Sparta before participating in Saturday’s Monroe County Baseball Tournament in Waterloo. Columbia plays Valmeyer at SPPS Field at 11 a.m., and will face either Waterloo or Gibault at 1 p.m., depending on the outcome of that contest.

Waterloo’s Jeremy Rettig pitches Friday at Busch Stadium. See more photos at www.republictimes.net/photo-store. (Alan Dooley photo)

Hawks have good week

Gibault improved to 19-10 on the spring by winning four of five recent games.

Last Tuesday, Chase Dugan and Tyler Brinkmann pitched well on the mound and the Hawks received plenty of offense in a 12-6 win over Windsor. Wes Degener led the hitting barrage with four hits, including a three-run home run. Jordan McFarland (two triples), Auggie

Ward, Austin Beccue (double and triple), and Nick McBride each had multiple hits.

Last Wednesday, the Hawks blasted Catholic rival Mater Dei in five innings, 12-2. Beccue allowed just four hits on the mound. Dugan had three hits and five RBIs and Ward added three RBIs.

The team’s only loss of late came to Nashville on Thursday, 11-8.

“We battled all day to get back in the game after allowing eight runs in the first,” Gibault head coach Andy Skaer said.

McFarland hit a long home run to center, and Zach Neff added a homer over the scoreboard in right. Beccue also hit a home run, and Mitch Meyer had three hits.

Gibault also turned a rare triple play in the second inning. With runners on first and second, leftfielder McFarland caught a liner in the gap. He threw the ball to Chandler Purcell at second, who stepped on the bag and tagged the runner who started from first.

Saturday against Althoff, Neff won on the hill despite some struggles. Meyer had three hits in Gibault’s 8-6 win.

On Monday, the Hawks blasted Metro East Lutheran at home on Senior Day, 11-3.

“We honored our 10 seniors that have helped us win 67 games and counting over the last three years,” Skaer said.

McBride was the star, earning the win on the mound and hitting a go-ahead three-run homer in the fourth. Beccue added three hits, including two doubles.

“Overall, we have been playing very well. Our top seven hitters in the lineup are hitting over .340, the pitching seems to be coming along and hopefully we are peaking at the right time and can continue our hot streak through the postseason,” Skaer said.

Gibault plays Waterloo at WHS at 11 a.m. on Saturday as part of the county tourney, with a game against either Columbia or Valmeyer to follow.

‘Dogs get back to winning

After losses to Civic Memorial last Wednesday and Jacksonville on Friday at Busch Stadium put them dangerously close to the .500 mark, Waterloo has started to play better of late.

The Bulldogs (14-10-1) swept a Saturday doubleheader against Mater Dei and followed that up with an impressive 4-0 conference win against a tough Mascoutah team.

“Hopefully we’re through that difficult stretch and maybe we’re turning the corner,” said Waterloo head coach Mark Vogel, who sits at 399 career wins heading into Wednesday’s battle at home with Highland.

Vogel has coached the ‘Dogs since 1993.

Against Mascoutah, Jeremy Rettig threw well, allowing just two hits with two walks and a hit batsmen in his complete game win.

Christian Schmidt smacked two doubles, one of them with the bases loaded, to provide the offensive punch for the ‘Dogs.

Against Mater Dei, Waterloo pulled out a 7-6 win in game one thanks to two hits from Zach Schaab and key hits from sophomores Tyler McAlister and Kane Osterhage, who were recently called up to varsity.

“I think they have helped to jumpstart our offense a bit,” Vogel said.

In game two, Reid Hoffmann went 4-for-4 and Jonny Albers added three hits behind pitcher Tyler Hebel, who was dominant in a complete game three-hitter as the ‘Dogs won, 9-1.

After Wednesday’s game against Highland, Waterloo hosts Althoff on Thursday and Granite City on Friday before the county tourney.

Teammates congratulate Valmeyer’s Mark Nappier following his grand slam against Dupo. (Greg Stanek photo)

Pirates improving

Valmeyer (13-19) has won six of its past nine games, including perhaps its best performance of the season in a 7-2 win Saturday against Carlyle.

Pitcher Dakota Maus improved to 7-1 on the spring with his complete game effort. Maus, Ethan May and Hunter Brewer each had two hits, and it was Griffin Seidler’s RBI double in the eighth that put Valmeyer up for good.

Easton Wallace sealed the victory with an RBI basehit.

Last Tuesday, Valmeyer beat Marissa 7-6. That was followed by an 11-4 win over Dupo. Zach Williams pitched a complete game in the Dupo win and Maus collected three hits.

The win against Carlyle was in the O’Fallon tourney, during which they lost to Mascoutah and O’Fallon.

Mark Nappier had a huge week offensively, head coach Greg Reinhardt said.

“He had a hit in every game,” he said.

Nappier went 7-for-16 on the week with eight RBIs, including a grand slam home run against Dupo.

Dupo loses two of three

The Tigers beat Steeleville last Tuesday, 7-2. Jordan Prange pitched three innings and Taylor Stanek picked up the win in relief.

Dupo (10-15) lost to Gillespie, 3-2, last Wednesday at GCS Ballpark as the offense only managed four hits.

“We committed three errors that all led to runs and our offense has fell asleep the last couple of weeks,” Dupo head coach Brad Daubach said.

Joey Mirabal had two hits in the Thursday loss to Valmeyer.

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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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