Play ball! Baseball season underway

Gibault infielder Jacob Muehlher prepares to receive a throw at second base in an attempt to tag out a base stealer during a March 14 game against Valmeyer. (John Hooser photo)

The high school baseball season is underway, with a few local teams being more fortunate than others in avoiding Mother Nature’s wrath.

Several games have been postponed due to rain, with even more in store this week. That results in soggy diamonds and scheduling nightmares for school athletic directors.

Valmeyer has opened strong following its state runner-up finish last spring, bolting out to a 6-1 start.

The Pirates won easily at Sparta on Monday, 10-0, with Michael Chism being the star of the game. The senior lefthander struck out nine and allowed just one hit over five innings pitched and helped himself with two hits and an RBI at the plate.

Cole Juelfs, Jake Krekel, Evan Thien and Henry Weber joined the Valmeyer hit parade with two hits each.

Valmeyer suffered its first loss of the season Thursday to a tough Freeburg squad, 4-0. The Pirates were held to just four hits on the day. Jack Lugge went 3-for-3 to pace the Freeburg offense.

Last Wednesday, the Pirates blasted Okawville, 13-4. Juelfs went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two stolen bases. Drew Maus went 3-for-5 with a double, triple and three RBIs.

Andrew Whipple threw four solid innings for the mound victory.

Juelfs leads Valmeyer with a .464 average and 11 runs. Maus is next at .391 with eight RBIs.

Weather permitting, Valmeyer hosts Dupo on Thursday and Lebanon on Tuesday.

Columbia (3-3) blanked Althoff on Thursday, 15-0, led by a strong mound outing from Luke Watson. He allowed just one hit over five innings, striking out six.

Mitch Daniels went 3-for-3 with two doubles and two runs. Sam Spivey went 2-for-3 with four RBIs. Dylan Hildebrand, Josh Marion and Shane Wilhelm added two hits each.

Last Tuesday, the Eagles dropped a 12-4 contest at O’Fallon. Hildebrand went 3-for-4 and Kyle Steve added two hits and an RBI in the loss.

Daniels is hitting .500 with five RBIs and five runs to lead Columbia, followed by Wilhelm at .474 with seven runs and three stolen bases.

Columbia is scheduled to play at Freeburg on Thursday and in a doubleheader with Waterloo and Oakville at Oakville on Saturday.

Waterloo has brought out the bats in its first two games of 2018, scoring a combined 27 runs in victories over New Athens and Red Bud.

Senior catcher Quinten Albrecht, a Wichita State commit, went 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs in Thursday’s 12-3 win at New Athens.

Danny Tharp, Tyson Roedl, Ty Kueper, Sam Kreinberg and Tommy Carr added two hits apiece. Nathan Albrecht added a hit and four RBIs.

On Monday, Tharp went 3-for-3 with three doubles and two RBIs in a 15-4 blasting of Red Bud. Lucas Goodsell and Nathan Albrecht added a double and three runs each, with the latter striking out eight over three-plus innings for the mound victory.

Waterloo is slated to host Althoff on Wednesday before the Saturday doubleheader at Oakville. The ‘Dogs are schedule to host Freeburg on Monday.

Gibault is off to a 1-3 start this spring following a 3-1 loss to the St. Louis Patriots on Thursday.

Mark Branz tripled for Gibault’s only hit of the game. Jacob Green struck out seven over four solid innings on the mound.

 The Hawks host Red Bud on Thursday and Mascoutah for two on Saturday before hosting Marquette on Monday. 

Cameron Kincheloe leads Gibault in hitting early on with a .583 average and three doubles.

Dupo is off to an 0-3 start this season following Thursday’s 6-1 loss to Marissa. Drew Kelling went 1-for-2 with a run for the Tigers.

Kaleb Chism and Dalton Ticer are both hitting .375 to lead Dupo’s offense in the early going.

Dupo hosts Freeburg on Wednesday, if Mother Nature allows.

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