Lakers starting to turn the corner

Valmeyer’s Matt Reinholz (right) leads the team in hitting at .500 this summer. (Corey Saathoff photo)

Following a slow start, the Valmeyer Lakers appear to have put all of the right pieces together during a five-game winning streak.

Valmeyer is 5-10 overall and 3-9 in Mon-Clair League play entering a crucial four-game weekend.

On Sunday, the Lakers swept a doubleheader over Edwardsville, winning 12-5 and 5-4. Matt Ottsen and Austin Beccue picked up victories on the mound for Valmeyer.

“We finally got our pitching situation straightened out a bit,” longtime Lakers manager Dennis “Boog” Pieper said. “As long as we keep our pitching healthy, we should be fine.”

Beccue moved to 2-0 on the summer with a complete game performance in game two, allowing just one earned run.

The Lakers have two outfielders who just finished outstanding spring seasons in college in Wes Degener and Cameron Touchette. Degener starred at NCAA Division II College World Series participant Lindenwood University-St. Charles. Touchette hit lights out at John A. Logan College, earning All-American honors.

Touchette went 6-for-9 in Sunday’s doubleheader sweep with two doubles, a triple and five RBIs.
Leading the way offensively for Valmeyer are veterans Matt Reinholz (.500, 13 RBIs) and John Wuelling (.400, six stolen bases). Mitch Meyer is hitting .342 with 10 runs scored.

“We finally got everyone here,” Pieper said. “I see good defense and timely hitting of late. We’re playing good, heads-up baseball.”

The Lakers hope to continue their winning ways with a Saturday doubleheader at the Columbia Saints followed by two games Sunday at Fairview Heights.

The Saints dropped to 1-11 in league play with losses of 10-0 and 8-5 against the St. Louis Printers on Sunday. Tyler Kleinschmidt has been a bright spot offensively for Columbia, hitting near .400.
Following Saturday’s tilt against Valmeyer, the Saints host Edwardsville for two on Sunday at Kleinschmidt Field.

Waterloo and Millstadt were both rained out of league action this past Sunday.

The Millers (9-1) stand alone atop the Monroe Division standings with a well-rounded squad.
Second baseman Cory Lubinski is hitting .516 with 22 RBIs and Keegan Baxmeyer is hitting .500.
Andy Galle leads the pitching staff at 4-0 with a 1.52 ERA.

Waterloo hosts Edwardsville for two games on Saturday, and will travel to play a Sunday doubleheader against the St. Louis Spikes.

The Millstadt Green Machine is 4-6 in league play. They will take on the St. Louis Printers for two games this Sunday.

Leading the way at the plate for Millstadt are Rob Beatty (.432, 10 RBIs), Luke Glaeser (.409, seven runs) and Brian Lupa (.400, seven runs).

Millstadt pitching leaders in the early going are Cory Renois (1-1, 2.58 ERA) and Otto Roberts (1-1, 4.05 ERA).

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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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