Monroe Division race up for grabs

St. Clair All Star Matt Reinholtz of Valmeyer makes contact with the pitch at the Mon Clair All Star game at Whitey Herzog Field in Belleville – Wednesday July 14, 2021 – Paul Baillargeon

The Millstadt Green Machine refuses to lose and the Valmeyer Lakers are treading water as the two teams go neck and neck to the regular season finish.

Also in the Monroe Division, Waterloo won two of three games over the weekend to get above .500.

Millstadt (12-4) split with the St. Louis Spikes on Saturday before sweeping a Sunday doubleheader over the Valmeyer Lakers.

The Green Machine lost 10-9 and won 3-2 over the Spikes. 

The Spikes scored one in the sixth inning and three in the seventh to come from behind in the 10-9 win despite a 3-for-4, four-RBI game by Millstadt’s Jack Toenjes. 

In the other game, Millstadt broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run sixth inning and held on despite a seventh-inning run by the Spikes. Cal Kossina went 2-for-3 with a run and Brian Lupa went 1-for-2 with an RBI for the Green Machine.

Logan Weaver pitched four and two-thirds innings for the mound victory.

On Sunday, a nine-run sixth inning for the Green Machine blew open a close opening game with the Lakers as Millstadt won, 11-1. The Green Machine got two hits each from Cal Kossina, Tony Kossina, Joey Kossina, Ben Stedman, Colin Shea and John Hilpert.

Ethan Ruff went 2-for-2 with a stolen base and run for the Lakers.

In the second game, Millstadt scored twice in the sixth inning to break a tie and win 4-2. Stedman, Toenjes and Hilpert collected two hits apiece for the Green Machine. 

Matt Reinholz went 3-for-3 with a double and triple for the Lakers.

Millstadt hopes to hold on to first place in the division as it hosts the St. Louis Printers on Thursday, plays at Cape Girardeau on Saturday and travels to Belleville on Sunday. 

Toenjes leads Millstadt in hitting at .447 with 12 RBIs. Garrett Herring leads Millstadt’s pitching staff at 3-0 with a 2.85 ERA.

Valmeyer (10-6) split a Saturday twinbill with the Printers, falling 5-1 and winning 6-1. 

In the loss, Ruff went 3-for-3 with a stolen base and Dustin Crawford pitched a complete game for the Lakers. 

In the win, Trevor Davis pitched five innings of one-hit ball, Ruff went 2-for-4 with a home run, and both Cole Juelfs and Tyler Kempfer collected two hits each. The game was tied 1-1 through five innings.

The Lakers will attempt to regain first place as it hosts the Southeast Missouri Tropics on Saturday and then host the Waterloo Millers on Sunday. 

Ruff leads the Lakers in hitting at .509 with 14 RBIs. Davis is hitting .486 and Logan Mueth is hitting .422.

Waterloo (8-7) lost on Friday to Cape Girardeau, 8-0. The Millers were held to just four hits and struck out 10 times.

On Sunday, the Millers swept the Belleville Rockies, 10-0 and 9-2. 

In the game one win, Millers leadoff hitter Tom Purschke went 3-for-4 with six RBIs and Trey Kueper went 1-for-1 with three runs. Lefty starter Matt McGilvray threw a five-inning complete game shutout, allowing just three hits.

In game two, Keegan Baxmeyer went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, Gus Purschke went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and Mike Ward went 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Kade Burns drew three walks, stole two bases and scored three times for the Millers.

Jeremy Isenman picked up the mound victory for Waterloo, pitching five and one-third innings and allowing just three hits.

Waterloo hosts Cape Girardeau on Wednesday and the Spikes on Friday before traveling down to Old Valmeyer on Sunday. 

Baxmeyer leads the Millers in hitting at .487 with 15 RBIs. McGilvray leads Waterloo’s pitching staff at 2-0 with a league-leading 0.98 ERA.

All-Star Game

The Mon-Clair League All-Star Game took place last Wednesday at Whitey Herzog Field in Belleville, with the St. Clair Division All-Stars nipping the Monroe Division guys, 2-1.

AJ Sager from the Southeast Missouri Tropics was named MVP of the game. Sager had a triple, RBI single, reached on an error, walked and had two stolen bases for the St. Clair squad.

The Monroe Division scored their only run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning. With one out, Valmeyer’s Cole Juelfs and Waterloo’s Trey Kueper legged out infield singles, then Juelfs scored when the second baseman made a wild throw on the back end of a potenial game ending double play grounder to shortstop.

Other hits from the Monroe All-Stars came off the bats of Millstadt’s Austin Francis, Belleville’s Austin Wombacher and Valmeyer’s Trevor Davis.

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