Playoff time in Mon-Clair League

It’s playoff time in the Mon-Clair League, as Saturday rain cut down the regular season schedule to 23 games for most squads.

The Valmeyer Lakers (20-3) will attempt to win the league’s trifecta, having already won the Midsummer Classic and posting the top overall regular season record. 

The Lakers won 6-3 over Belleville on Saturday to conclude the regular season, with game two of the schedule rained out. Jacob Thompson smacked a three-run homer to lead the Lakers.

Valmeyer has a first round bye in the playoffs and will take on the lowest remaining seed from Saturday’s first round at noon Sunday in Belleville. 

The Lakers have three solid starting pitchers in Kenny Otero (5-0, ERA under 1.00), Thompson (4-1, 1.63 ERA) and Trevor Davis (4-0, 1.83 ERA). 

Davis leads the way offensively for Valmeyer, hitting .435 with 19 RBIs and 21 runs. 

The Waterloo Buds (13-10) claimed the second seed in the playoffs after splitting a Sunday doubleheader against the Edwardsville Stags.

The Buds were held to just three hits in a 3-1 loss, but then picked up an 8-4 win. 

Preston Wright, who led the entire league in hitting this summer at .511, went 3-for-3 with a three-run homer for the Buds in the victory. Daniel Burns and Kyle Kiely added two hits each.

Nate Albrecht pitched a complete game for Waterloo.

The Buds will battle Edwardsville again to open the playoffs, with first pitch set at 1 p.m. Saturday in Millstadt. 

Opening the first round will be the host Millstadt Green Machine (12-11) against the Belleville Rockies (11-12) at 10 a.m. Saturday. 

The Green Machine are led offensively by Cal Kossina (.462, 17 RBIs), Tony Kossina (.446) and Tommy Mohan (.390).

On the mound, southpaw Joey Kossina (1-1, 2.96 ERA) is Millstadt’s best.

The other first round game on Saturday is Cape Girardeau vs. the St. Louis Spikes at 4 p.m. 

Following Sunday’s noon contest involving Valmeyer, the remaining two teams from Saturday will battle in a nine-inning tilt at approximately 3 p.m. at Whitey Herzog Field in Belleville. 

The two teams left standing after this weekend will play a best-of-three championship next Saturday and Sunday (if needed) at Borsch Park in Valmeyer. 

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.

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