Following Mid-Summer Classic play in Valmeyer on July 4, local Mon-Clair League teams resumed their quest for a division title this past weekend.
The team they are chasing in the Monroe Division – the Belleville Rockies – became the first Belleville squad to win the Valmeyer tourney in 36 years.
The Rockies currently lead the division at 11-7, but the Valmeyer Lakers (9-7), Waterloo Millers (8-7) and Millstadt Green Machine (8-8) aren’t too far behind.
The Lakers claimed the consolation championship of the Midsummer Classic with a 15-0 win over Waterloo on July 4. Matt Reinholz blasted a three-run homer as part of a six-run third inning to bury the Millers.
On Sunday, Valmeyer split games with the St. Louis Spikes and Fairview Heights, winning 6-0 over St. Louis but falling 10-5 to the Redbirds.
Ian Miller threw a complete game two-hit shutout in game one, with Mitch Meyer going 3-for-4 with a stolen base and two runs. Reinholz went 2-for-3 with another homer and three RBIs, and Aaron Kuper went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs.
In game two, Jacob Hill took the loss on the mound for the Lakers. Meyer continued his hot hitting with another 3-for-4 performance. Mark Nappier added a two-run homer and Cole Juelfs contributed two hits in defeat.
Meyer has upped his average to .455 with 15 runs to lead the Lakers, followed by Reinholz at .420 with 16 RBIs. Wes Degener is hitting .377 with 10 runs.
The Lakers host the Charleston Riverdogs in a Sunday afternoon doubleheader.
The Millers won two games Sunday, taking down Charleston, 9-1, and edging Millstadt in extra innings, 4-3.
Ethan Ruff went 3-for-5 with a triple, RBI and two runs in the win over Charleston. Andrew Yancik struck out 12 in a complete game pitching effort.
Cory Lubinski, Keegan Baxmeyer, Brad Dillenberger and Trevor Davis added two hits each.
In the win over Millstadt, Ruff’s RBI single scored Logan Mueth in the eighth inning for the Millers. Ruff went 2-for-4 and is now hitting .404 this summer with 11 stolen bases and 17 runs.
Mueth went 3-for-4 and Chandler Purcell added two hits in the victory.
Lubinski leads the Millers in hitting at .442 with 11 RBIs, followed by Mueth at .436 with 10 runs and Baxmeyer at .424.
Jeremy Rettig is 3-2 with a 3.13 ERA to lead the pitching staff, followed by Yancik at 2-1 with a 1.91 ERA.
Waterloo hosts the St. Louis Printers on Fan Appreciation Day this Saturday starting at 1:30 p.m., with free concessions available. On Sunday, the Millers play at Millstadt.
In addition to Millstadt’s extra-inning loss to Waterloo, the Green Machine won 11-3 over Charleston this past Sunday.
Brian Lupa, who had three hits against Waterloo, pitched four solid innings for the mound victory over the Riverdogs.
Tony Kossina went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, Matt Sisk went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Luke Matecki went 3-for-3 for the Green Machine against Charleston.
Rob Beatty leads Millstadt in hitting at .375 with 13 RBIs, followed by Kossina at .373 with 11 stolen bases and 12 runs, and Matecki at .356 with 14 RBIs.
The Mon-Clair League All-Star Game takes place July 18 in Fairview Heights, with the Monroe Division All-Stars battling the St. Clair Division All-Stars at 7 p.m.
Locals named to the Monroe Division squad include starters Cory Lubinski of Waterloo (third base), Tony Kossina of Millstadt (shortstop), Mitch Meyer of Valmeyer (outfield), Wes Degener of Valmeyer (outfield) and Cal Kossina of Millstadt (pitcher).
Reserves are Cole Hensel of Millstadt (pitcher), Andy Barton of Millstadt (pitcher), Jacob Hill of Valmeyer (pitcher), Easton Wallace of Valmeyer (pitcher), Breadon Chandler of Millstadt (second base), Matt Reinholz of Valmeyer (infield), Logan Mueth of Waterloo (infield), Ethan Ruff of Waterloo (outfield), Luke Matecki of Millstadt (outfield) and Lucas Wetzler of Waterloo (catcher).