Mon-Clair action continues as All-Star game nears

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Columbia shortstop Sheldon Johns fields a grounder Sunday against Fairview Heights. (Greg Stanek photo)

The Waterloo Millers continue to lead the way in Mon-Clair League baseball action, but the Columbia Saints are an improved young ballclub.

The Saints (5-15) split a doubleheader against Fairview Heights on Sunday at Kleinschmidt Field.

“We have been in a lot of games. We have been one run down a lot and had the tying run on,” Columbia coach Doc Kleinschmidt said. “We are for sure moving in the right direction. Our goal is to make the playoffs. We just need to keep improving and moving in the right direction.”

The Saints only had four wins all of last summer and have already surpassed that total in 2014.

Once looked upon as an easy win by many teams, the Saints are making people take notice and not overlook them. They show up to play and are making things tough on opposing teams this season.

Columbia lost game one against the Redbirds, 3-1. After falling behind 3-1 in game two, the Saints rallied for a 7-4 win.

Patrick Davis (.306) and Logan Mueth (.304) lead the team in hitting, while Jim Brady (1 win, 4.42 ERA ) leads the pitching staff.

The Millers (18-2) stayed hot in league play, taking two from the league’s newest team, the O’Fallon Blaze, on Sunday at the SWIC baseball field in Belleville.

The Millers won game one 14-1, putting on a hitting clinic. The team then took a close game two with stellar pitching and defense, 1-0.

Waterloo now holds the best record in league play after the St. Louis Spikes dropped a game to Millstadt on Sunday.

Jake Friederich leads Waterloo in hitting (.412) and John Auble leads the pitching staff (6 wins, 1.71 ERA).

Valmeyer (9-11) continues to struggle after a very hot start. They lost two very close games on Sunday to the St. Louis Printers, both by one run.

The Lakers dropped game one, 4-3, and lost the second game, 2-1.

John Wuelling leads the team in hitting (.397) and D.J. Dillenberger leads the pitchers (3 wins, 3.86 ERA).

The Millstadt VFW (13-7), who are trying to chase down the Millers in the Monroe Division, split with the St. Louis Spikes (17-3) on Sunday.

Millstadt lost a tough game one, 1-0, but bounced back to take game two by the score of 7-3.

With the loss, Millstadt is now five games back of the Millers in the division.

The Matecki brothers, Luke (.403) and Mitch (.407), lead Millstadt in hitting, while Sam Lidisky leads the pitching staff (5 wins, 1.54 ERA).

This Sunday, Columbia hosts O’Fallon at 1:30 p.m., while Valmeyer hosts Millstadt and Waterloo hosts Belleville.

All-Star Game July 23

The Mon-Clair League will again do battle with the Clinton County League in an All-Star Game to be played Wednesday, July 23 at GCS Ballpark in Sauget.

Game time is 7 p.m.; admission is $5 at the door.

Local players named to this year’s Mon-Clair All-Star squad include starters John Auble and Brandon Musso from the Waterloo Millers and Mitch Matecki, Tony Kossina and Sam Lidisky from Millstadt, along with reserve players Justin Dunning of the Millers, Logan Mueth of the Saints, Matt Reinholz of the Lakers and Luke Matecki of Millstadt.

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