The Mon-Clair League baseball season is underway for the summer, and the Waterloo Millers are off to a hot start.
“We’re a young team and we’re playing some great defense,” Millers manager Vern Moehrs said of his team’s 8-1 start.
Waterloo is 7-1 in league play, and also defeated Fairview Heights in a non-league contest.
The Millers won three of four over the weekend, sweeping a Saturday doubleheader against Belleville and splitting two games with Millstadt on Sunday.
Andy Galle threw six strong innings and Corey Vogel pitched a scoreless seventh for a 5-3 win in the first game over Belleville. The Millers posted a 5-0 victory in the second game.
On Sunday, Millstadt posted a 10-1 win over Waterloo, with Cory Renois pitching six solid innings for the Green Machine.
Luke Matecki went 3-for-3 with four RBIs for Millstadt before leaving the game due to an injured hamstring.
Rob Beatty went 3-for-5 and Luke Glaeser added two hits.
Jeremy Rettig took the loss on the mound for Waterloo. Keegan Baxmeyer went 2-for-3 at the plate.
In the second game, Waterloo bounced back for a 10-4 win. Noah Thaggard pitched well for the Millers, going six innings.
Millstadt went up 2-0 early, but the Millers fought back. The big blow was Cory Lubinski’s two-run home run in the third inning. He went 4-for-4 in the game to pace Waterloo’s offense.
Trevor Davis, Aaron Jackson and Lucas Wetzler added two hits each for the Millers.
Glaeser homered for Millstadt in the loss.
“That was a big win for us,” Moehrs said afterward.
Moehrs praised the defensive efforts of shortstop Brad Dillenberger, second baseman Lubinski and catchers Wetzler and Jonny Albers in the early going.
Millstadt manager Norm Toenjes said his team put runners on base all day, but just couldn’t capitalize in game two.
“We just weren’t able to get the big hits in that one,” he said.
On Saturday, Millstadt (4-4) swept a doubleheader over the Valmeyer Lakers, winning 12-0 and 10-4.
Parker Beine threw a five-inning no-hitter for the Green Machine in game one, striking out five and issuing two walks.
Matecki, Beatty and Kossina collected three hits apiece for Millstadt, including a home run by Kossina.
Otto Roberts picked up the win on the mound in game two.
“We started slow (this season), but we’re playing much better right now,” Toenjes said. “Waterloo and Belleville (5-3) both look awfully good. We hope to battle with them all summer.”
Beatty leads the Green Machine in hitting at .448.
Elsewhere in the Monroe Division, Valmeyer is still searching for its first win this season after dropping the first eight games.
Matt Reinholz leads the Lakers in hitting at .524, followed by John Wuelling at .429 and Mitch Meyer at .346.
Columbia is also searching for its first win this season after losing eight straight. Leading hitters for the Saints include
Ryan Schocker and Bret Bunselmeyer, who are each hitting above .400.
In the St. Clair Division, the Fairview Heights Redbirds and St. Louis Spikes are both off to 7-1 starts.