Tigers sink Pirates in Kaskaskia Conference clash

Valmeyer head coach Greg Reinhardt congratulates Zach Williams as he rounds third base following his three-run homer in the sixth inning at Dupo. For more photos from the game, click here. (Corey Saathoff photo)

In a baseball game that had a championship feel, the Dupo Tigers edged Valmeyer at home on Thursday, 5-4.

There was much at stake, as the Pirates were looking to win the Kaskaskia Conference outright for the first time in the program’s history with a victory. But the Tigers also have eyes on the conference prize, needing a win to keep the dream alive.

With both teams throwing their aces, Valmeyer righty Hunter Brewer and Dupo lefty Jordan Prange locked horns and the game was scoreless until the fifth inning. The Tigers pushed across two runs and looked to be in control.

Valmeyer’s Zach Williams changed momentum with one swing of the bat in the sixth, however. His three-run blast over the left field fence with the win blowing in put the Pirates on top at 3-2.

“That ball was crushed,” Valmeyer head coach Greg Reinhardt said.

But the Tigers bounced right back, loading the bases in the bottom of the sixth and after tying the game on a wild pitch, took a 5-3 lead on Jason Smith’s two-run double.

With Taylor Stanek in to close things out for the Tigers, Valmeyer rallied to score one run and had the tying run in scoring position when Williams struck out to end the game.

“It was not the result we wanted, obviously,” Reinhardt said.

Griffin Seidler and Easton Wallace each had two hits for the Pirates, who dropped to 8-1 in the conference and 15-14 overall. Collin Roth and Drake Harvell each had two hits for the Tigers, who improved to 7-1 in the conference.

The two teams split this season, with Valmeyer defeating Dupo last month. Valmeyer has one conference game remaining at home next Thursday against Steeleville. Dupo still has to play New Athens and Steeleville. If both teams win out, they will be crowned conference co-champs.

“It’ll be nice if New Athens can help us out,” Reinhardt said with a grin.

In other baseball action, JT Broshears starred at the plate and on the mound Thursday for Columbia at Wesclin in a 5-4 win. He went 2-for-3 at the plate and stole two bases, and also pitched a complete game. Cameron Touchette went 1-for-2 with two RBIs and two stolen bases.

On Friday, the Eagles topped Triad in the O’Fallon tournament, 7-5. Brendan Wilhelm pitched six strong innings for the win and Broshears, Brian Dougherty and Jon Holmes each had two hits.

The Gibault Hawks lost an 8-7 contest at home against Nashville on Thursday despite home runs from Jordan McFarland and Chandler Purcell. The Hawks host Althoff for two games on Saturday.

The Waterloo Bulldogs (19-8) host Mater Dei for a Saturday doubleheader starting at 10 a.m., weather permitting.

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