ALTON TOPS TRIAD, TIES PROGRAM WINS' RECORD — With a 6-1 win over Triad Monday on senior night, the Alton Redbirds tied the program record for wins in a season with two games to play.
Alton is now 28-5, tying the 28-win plateau which was reached in 2001 under former head coach Mike Bellm and then again under current head coach Todd Haug in 2013.
At 4:30 p.m. today in O'Fallon the Birds will make a bid for a new wins' benchmark. They also have a 4:30 p.m. game Wednesday at Jersey and then delve into the Class 4A Edwardsville Regional next week.
The Redbirds did all their damage in the first two innings Monday, scoring once in the first and then five times in the second to take the win against the Knights. Triad's lone run came in the top of the second to knot it at 1-1 for the moment.
Fittingly on senior night, it was a pair of AHS seniors that guided the attack. Hurler Ben Cusac nabbed the win on the mound, going all seven innings, scattering seven hits while striking out four, divvying out two free passes and giving up just the one run.
Fellow senior Matt Hopkins steered the offense with a 2 for 4 performance that included a triple, two runs scored and two RBIs. Jacob Kanallakan was 2 for 2 with a double and a RBI. Kanallakan, Drake Hampton, Carter Hayden and Bryan Hudson all notched doubles in the win.
MARQUETTE'S WIN STREAK SNAPPED AT NINE STRAIGHT — The Marquette Catholic Explorers suffered their first loss of May on Monday, falling to the Freeburg Midgets 7-2 at Lloyd Hopkins Field inside Gordon Moore Park.
The loss sank the Explorers to 17-10, snapping their nine-game winning streak. They have still prevailed in 13 out of their last 15.
Marquette raced out to a 1-0 lead after one inning and held strong until the top of the third when the Midgets plated three. The only other run for the Explorers came in the sixth. Freeburg scored twice in the fifth and once each in the sixth and seventh.
Marquette was marred with five hiccups in the field, leading to five unearned runs for the Midgets.
Max Goepel was tagged with the loss on the hill, tossing 5.2 innings, surrendering five hits, six runs, only two earned, while fanning five and walking three. Ryan Kostecki and Jacob File worked in relief. File allowed one unearned run.
Offensively, Jacob Eggering sparked the Explorers, going 2 for 3 with a RBI. Riley Bamper drove in the other run for Marquette. Zach Weinman was the only Explorer beside Eggering to log a hit Monday.
Next up for Marquette is a 4:30 p.m. game at Mascoutah on Thursday. The Explorers enter the postseason at 1 p.m. on Memorial Day vs. Triad for the play-in game of Class 3A Jersey Regional.
ALTON FINISHES FIFTH AT SWC TOURNAMENT — Mother Nature stretched out the Southwestern Conference Tournament which was supposed to span over Friday and Saturday in Edwardsville.
The conference shindig finally finished on Monday with the host Tigers squeaking out the title with 67 points. The Alton Redbirds accumulated 40 points, good for fifth place.
The standings played out with: Edwardsville, Belleville East (65), O'Fallon (54), Belleville West (44), Alton, Granite City (24), Collinsville (21) and East St. Louis (9).
EHS won the conference outright with the tourney win. It's the 15th straight season the Tigers have at least owned a share of the league crown.
They won at No. 2, No. 4, No. 5 and No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles, while the Lancers prevailed at No. 1 and No. 3 singles and No. 1 and No. 2 doubles.
The highest finish for AHS came at No. 1 singles where Carl Stradal finished in third place. After besting West's Drew Boyles 6-1, 6-3, Stradal stumbled vs. the top seed from East, Chase Stumne, 6-3, 6-2. He then defeated O'Fallon's Neal Shekar 6-4, 6-1 in the third-place match.
At No. 2 singles Jackson Scheiter finished fourth, Kain Henson was fifth at No. 3, Drew Hays was fifth at No. 4, Jet Durr finished fifth at No. 5 and Walker Moan came in fifth at No. 6.
In doubles action, Henson and Scheiter were fifth at No. 1, Stradal and Hays grabbed fourth at No. 2 and the tandem of Durr and Alex Piazza finished fifth.
The Redbirds will now prepare to play host to the Alton Sectional beginning on Friday and concluding on Saturday. The rest of the field will include: Edwardsville, Marquette Catholic, Civic Memorial, East Alton-Wood River, Roxana, Metro East Lutheran and Jersey. The Tigers have also won 15 consecutive sectional championships.
CM HALTS LONG LOSING SKID — The Civic Memorial Eagles picked up a much needed victory on Monday, defeating the Freeburg Midgets 7-2 on the road.
The Eagles had dropped 12 straight and 14 out of 15 entering Monday. It was their first win since beating Roxana 6-4 on April 16 at the Bethalto Sports Complex.
CM is now 7-18 on the season.
The win coincided with the return of pitcher Shelby Whaley, who picked up a four-inning save in her first work since leaving a loss to Waterloo on April 20, the first setback in CM's 12-game skid.
Ryan Allison logged the win in the circle, working three innings, scattering three hits, fanning two and walking no one while allowing two unearned runs.
Whaley came on and threw four innings of relief, surrendering two hits while walking one.
Katelyn Turbyfill provided the thunder at the plate, connecting for a home run and two RBIs in a 2 for 2 performance. Cassie Albers and Kalyn Haar each had two hits also, including a double apiece. Albers, Susan Buchanan and Kelsey Deaton had RBIs in the win.
The Eagles are back in action at 4:15 p.m. today at home against Columbia. They enter the the Class 3A CM Regional at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day with a play-in game in Jerseyville against the Panthers.