It was the first full week of the regular season for the Varsity Baseball team of Valle Catholic High School. After kicking off the Spring with two successful outings the previous week, the Warriors rattled off three more consecutive victories before giving up a loss, moving them to 5-1 on the season.
The winning week began last Monday, March 21st, traveling to Chaffee High School to take on the Red Devils. The Warriors fell behind 1-0 after two innings, but a big three-run third inning was all Valle needed to get the win. Nonetheless, the team added an insurance run in both the fifth and sixth, and put the final nails in the coffin by scoring two more in the seventh to earn the dominant 7-1 victory.
Already leading the team in most offensive categories, Josh Bieser added to his totals with three more hits, including a double. Jackson Fowler played a big part in this victory by providing three RBIs on two hits, and Michael Okenfuss also got in on the action with two hits and a run in his four ABs.
Colin Vaeth started the game and got the win with his three-inning, four-strikeout performance, before handing it over to Nathan Schwent. It was a great outing for him as he came in and notched five more strikeouts in the final four innings to earn the save.
Two days later, on Wednesday, March 23rd, the Cooter Wildcats played Valle in their home stadium. The slow starting Warriors once again fell behind by three runs early, but exploded in the third inning with five of their own. The Warrior offense tacked on two more in the sixth, which was more than enough, as the pitching and defense tamed the Wildcats’ offense.
Lead-off hitter Aiden Heberlie crossed the plate twice off one hit and a walk. Having a huge game, Isaac Roth went 2-for-2 with two runs, an RBI and a walk, while Bieser added an RBI and a hit to his season stats.
Starting pitcher Clayton Drury got it done on the mound, allowing only two hits and three runs in four innings, as well as striking out six. Chase Fallert and Heberlie helped close the game down, going two and one innings, respectively.
Then, on Saturday, March 26th, the Warriors played two games to finish out the week. In the first game, Valle stayed hot, and mowed down Oran High School, getting the shutout win 4-0.
This was another classic Valle victory, with consistent offense and solid defense leading the way. Roth had two hits and a run while Isaac Viox exploded for three hits and two RBIs in three at bats. Bieser kept his five-game hitting streak alive with a single.
It ended up being a two-pitcher shutout win for the Warriors over the Eagles, as Grant Fallert started the game and went five scoreless innings, allowing only one hit while striking out five. Heberlie earned the save, coming in to clip the Eagles’ wings in the final two innings, recording six straight outs.
The last game of the week didn’t wrap up the four games like the Warriors had hoped. Southern Reynolds High School from Ellington MO, cut the win streak off at five, handing Valle its first loss of the season, 9-4.
The Whippets came out swinging, posting three runs in the first and two more in the second. It took the Warriors five innings to finally hit their stride, as they rallied to put up three in the fifth frame. However, Southern came right back, adding one more in the bottom of the fifth and three more in the sixth. Valle attempted a late-stage comeback, but only managed to notch one final tally in the seventh.
Bieser went hitless in this one but did manage to score a run on a walk in his three ABs. Fowler and Okenfuss provided the run support, as each had two RBIs on one hit, but it wasn’t enough to pull out the victory.
Now with a loss under their belt, the chip has been knocked off the shoulder of the Warriors. Hopefully, this means the team can refocus and use that humbling experience to stay hungry, as the season is still in its infancy. And just like Spring turns to Summer… the boys are starting to heat up.