The Gibault High School baseball team (9-4) has been dealing with a split personality, in what Hawks baseball coach Andy Skaer refers to as acting like Jekyll and Hyde at the plate.
“In our wins we’ve been pretty good offensively, in our loses we’ve been pretty bad offensively,” Skaer said.
Apparently, in Thursday’s game against Red Bud (10-2), Mr. Hyde showed up that day for the Hawks with the team falling, 6-1, against the Musketeers.
Red Bud, who is off to an excellent start this season, scored in the first four innings (1, 1, 1, 3), while the Hawks were only able to scrape up one run in the third inning off an RBI by junior Wes Degener.
Degener missed the first seven games of the season due to a broken finger suffered during basketball season. The key junior was back in action during last Saturday’s double header loss to Mascoutah.
Coach Skaer says Degener is still not driving the ball yet like he is capable of doing, but is really only in his second week of practice. Skaer added that the team has already seen an improvement on defense with Degener back at short stop.
Red Bud’s Jacob Miller had two hits, a double and two RBIs to lead the way for the Musketeers Wednesday. Greg Godier got the win and seven “K’s” for RBHS, while Gibault’s Nick McBride took the loss for the Hawks. Skaer said the junior had some problems with control, which Red Bud took advantage of.Valmeyer’s Hunter Brewer is tagged out at home by Hawks catcher Ryley Wallin.
In following game, against Valmeyer (3-8) at home, the GHS skipper says both personalities showed up for Gibault on offense.
Mitch Meyer scored right off the bat for the Hawks but Valmeyer came in hot, tying it up in the top of the second when Zach Williams scored on a wild pitch.
The Pirates then added two more in the third on RBI hits from Zach Williams and Brady Robert.
Valmeyer’s Mark Nappier and Eric Smith scored in the fourth and fifth innings to put the Pirates on top, 5-3.
It was then, in the bottom of the fifth inning, that Gibault’s good side — Dr. Jekyll — showed up.
Gibault scored four runs in the fifth with the big hit coming off the bat of Degener who had an RBI double.
Both teams had chances to break the tie in the next two innings but could not get key hits, until Gibault’s Jordan McFarland came in to pinch hit in his first at bat of the game and knocked one over the fence to win the game, 6-5, on a walk-off home run for the Hawks.
Zach Neff got the win for the Hawks, while Auggie Ward pitched most of the seven innings for GHS.
Skaer says Ward’s 13 strike-outs were impressive but he put his pitches over the plate a bit more than in his first two impressive starts, leading to Valmeyer’s eight hits.
Gibault will now have a quite week, with just one game at Okawville Thursday. They will continue on the road against Cahokia Monday and at Waterloo Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Valmeyer hosted New Athens Tuesday. Results were not available by press time but can be found at RepublicTimes.net/Sports/. The Pirates stay home Wednesday against Gillespie, travel to Marissa Thursday and play in a big game against Waterloo at GCS Ballpark in Saguet Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
Additional reporting by Greg Stanek.