Millers on a roll heading into the playoffs

Kevin Hodge of Edwardsville just beats the tag of Waterloo’s Justin Dunning on a pick-off attempt during Saturday’s final regular season contest. (Greg Stanek photo)

Waterloo (17-7) won both contests on Saturday, pushing its winning streak to eight games heading into this week’s playoffs. They are the No. 3 seed and face Valmeyer (10-14), who is the No. 6 seed, in the first round at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday night at Whitey Herzog Field in Belleville.

Over the last eight games, the Millers have averaged 8.25 runs per game while holding their opponents to 1.8 runs.

“We are getting hot at the right time. The offense is starting to click, the defense is good and the pitching is doing well,” Waterloo’s Jake Friederich said. “We have some tough teams to play. We will have to be on top of our game.”

The Millers faced Valmeyer in their first game on Saturday at SPPCS field and wasted little time, jumping out to an 8-0 lead after three innings. They went on to add a run in the fifth inning and three more in the sixth inning to win, 12-0. Brandon Musso went all six innings for the complete game shutout and the win.

Waterloo’s offense was led by Friederich, who was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Justin Dunning, who also went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double and three RBIs.

“We are playing very well right now. The team defensively has played outstanding,” Millers coach Vernell Moehrs said after the game. “The team has really gelled, we have a good clubhouse right now.”

Waterloo got a short break as Valmeyer and Edwardsville (4-20) played the second game of the day.

The Lakers went on to win the game, 9-1, behind the arm of Caleb Tatum and some timely hitting from the bats of Jake Degener and Andy Skaer.

“The team that fields and makes the least amount of mistakes will win the game,” Valmeyer head coach Dennis Pieper said about facing Waterloo in the first round of the playoffs.

Waterloo took on the Mavericks in their second game on Saturday and, again, wasted little time putting up runs.

The Millers jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first on RBIs from L.J. Watson and Bryce Bastein. That would prove to be all the runs they needed as Waterloo went on to win the game, 3-2. Andy Galle went all seven innings for Waterloo, to pick up the win.

“This is a new season for Valmeyer, everything that’s done up to this point is over when you go into the playoffs,” Moehrs said about facing Valmeyer in the first round of the playoffs Thursday. “If things go well, I think we have a shot. We definitely peaked at the right time.”

To view the Mon-Clair post-season bracket and seedings, click here.


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