Millers off to 3-1 start

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The Mon-Clair League season started with a bang over the Fourth of July weekend, including a rare pitching feat.

The Waterloo Millers won three of four games to jump out ahead in the Monroe Division. 

On Saturday, Waterloo downed the St. Louis Spikes by scores of 9-2 and 11-1.

There were several pro scouts on hand to watch Spikes starting pitcher Christian Little of Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis in the first game. The Vanderbilt commit impressed early on this day before his 17th birthday, but the Millers emerged victorious in the end.

Waterloo plated five runs in the fourth inning and added four more in the sixth.

Nate Albrecht went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs to lead Waterloo’s offense. Lee Cruz went 2-for-4 for the Spikes. 

Millers starting pitcher Reid Hendrickson left after one inning due to injury, but Ben Klostermeier was strong in relief for the victory. 

In game two, Waterloo broke open a close game with seven runs in the fifth inning to short-game the Spikes. Ethan Ruff led the Millers by going 4-for-4 with three runs. Trey Kueper added two hits and two runs. 

Lefty starter Grant Jausel threw four innings for the win. For photos from Saturday’s games, click here.

On Sunday, the Millers were one-hit in the first game by veteran St. Louis Printers southpaw Zack Gronek, falling 3-1. Ty Kueper had Waterloo’s only hit. Drake Downing took the tough-luck loss on the mound for the Millers.

In game two, Waterloo southpaw Matt McGilvray topped Gronek’s gem with a no-hitter in a 3-0 victory. McGilvray, who pitched at Mineral Area College, struck out four and walked just two while throwing just 74 pitches. 

Longtime Millers manager Vern Moehrs said it was the first no-hitter thrown by one of his teams in many years; perhaps ever.

“He didn’t know he even threw one until after the game,” Moehrs said. “We were managing the game not to put stress on him.”

Ruff hit a two-run single in the sixth inning to give McGilvray some late breathing room. Logan Mueth went 2-for-3 for Waterloo.

The Millers host the Millstadt Green Machine at 7:15 p.m. Friday before hosting a Sunday doubleheader against the Belleville Rockies.

“We’ve got a good group of young guys this season,” Moehrs assessed.

Millstadt split four games to open league play, falling twice to Cape Girardeau on Saturday, 7-4 and 10-0, before sweeping a Sunday twinbill over Belleville, 2-0 and 11-1.

The Green Machine offense was led this past weekend by Joey Kossina (7-for-9, five RBIs), Tony Kossina (5-for-12, four stolen bases), Cal Kossina (4-for-11, three runs) and Brian Lupa (4-for-11).

Cal Kossina (seven innings, 0.00 ERA) and Sam Bernosky (four innings, 1.75 ERA) picked up the pitching wins for Millstadt, which hosts the Printers on Sunday following Friday’s tilt at Waterloo.

The Valmeyer Lakers dropped their first two games of the season, falling 6-3 and 6-5 to Cape Girardeau on Sunday.

Jacob Hill (4-for-7, two RBIs), Cole Juelfs (3-for-6, RBI) and Riley McCarthy (3-for-8, two RBIs) are the early offensive leaders for Valmeyer.

Lefty hurlers Philip Reinhardt and Tim Reinholz took the pitching losses for the Lakers, who host the Printers on Saturday and host the Spikes on Sunday.

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