The wait is over for those clamoring to watch live baseball action on local diamonds.
The Mon-Clair League kicks off its shortened season this weekend. All team members will be required to sign a COVID-19 waiver and a temperature check will be required each game day.
The Waterloo Millers, with legendary manager Vern Moehrs at the helm for his 60th season, will host the St. Louis Spikes at SPPS Field for a doubleheader that begins at 1:30 p.m. Saturday. On Sunday, the Millers battle the St. Louis Printers in Brentwood, Mo.
In addition to key returners Ethan Ruff, Keegan Baxmeyer, Logan Mueth and Mitchell Krebs, the Millers have recent Waterloo High School standouts Ty and Trey Kueper, Nate Albrecht and Drake Downing on the roster as well as standout pitcher Reid Hendrickson. Key newcomers include catcher Jake Schneider from Truman State, southpaw Matt McGilvary from Mineral Area College and Kansas State infielder Elijah Dale of St. Louis.
The Millers played an exhibition doubleheader Sunday against Cape Girardeau in Jackson, Mo., winning 3-0 and 11-7.
Schneider went 3-for-3 with a home run with Hendrickson and Albrecht combining for the shutout on the mound in the first game. The Millers plated eight in the first inning of the second game. Albrecht went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs. Ty Kueper tripled and had four RBIs.
The Valmeyer Lakers, managed once again by Dennis “Boog” Pieper, play at Cape Girardeau for a Sunday twinbill.
Former Valmeyer High School standouts Easton Wallace, Cole Juelfs, Mark Nappier, Phillip Reinhardt and Tyler Kempfer are on the Lakers roster to complement returning team leaders Mitch Meyer, Matt Reinholz, John Wuelling and Jacob Hill.
The defending league playoff champion Millstadt Green Machine open league play at Cape Girardeau on Saturday before hosting Belleville for two Sunday afternoon.
Norm “Shorty” Toenjes’ squad will feature a trio of Kossinas – Tony, Cal and Joey – as well as Rob Beatty, Jacob Wilson, Luke Vallandingham, Dylan McEwen, Brian Lupa, Andrew Yancik and Mark Branz.