After completing his final season of Senior American Legion baseball with the Belleville Hilgards last summer, Althoff graduate Sam Lidisky probably wondered what's next for him.
"Talking to some of the guys I played baseball with I just kind of wondered where I could play this year because I couldn't play legion any more,'' Lidisky said. "A couple of them mentioned that after legion the next level they were playing was in the Mon-Clair League.
"Now I had heard of the Mon-Clair League. But I didn't know much about it.''
Carrying over from a solid freshman season at McKendree University, Lidisky has quickly developed into one of the Mon-Clair League's premier hurlers in his rookie season.
Ace of Monroe Division leading Millstadt with a 7-0 record and 1.39 ERA, Lidisky will take the hill on Wednesday as the starting pitcher for the Mon-Clair League all-stars against the Clinton County League all-stars when the best amateur players in southern Illinois battle at GCS Ballpark in Sauget.
The first pitch is set for 7 p.m. Tickets are priced at $5 and will be available at the gate.
The Mon-Clair League, beaten 10-4 by the CCL in 2011, got back on the winning track a year ago with an 8-3 win behind solid pitching and a brilliant 4-for-4 effort at the plate from former Columbia standout Ben Thoma.
This year with Lidisky and seven Millstadt teammates leading the way, the Mon-Clair League is out for two wins in a row.
Millstadt manager Norm Toenjes, who has guided his team to a league best 15-3 record thus far this summer, is in charge of the Mon-Clair League. Trenton manager Tom Ritzheimer will lead the CCL.
For Toenjes, the honor of leading the Mon-Clair League squad is well deserved.
"It really is a nice honor. We (Millstadt) have been fortunate enough to have the best record in the league and we've got a number of players on this (all-star team),'' Toenjes said. "I think for most of the guys chosen to play, they look forward to it.
"It's fun to be recognized for your accomplishments and of course these guys are all competitive and they and they want to win.''
Lidisky, who was 6-2 in his freshman season at McKendree this spring, is one of three Millstadt players in the starting lineup.
Shortstop Tony Kossina, leftfielder Tyler Muren and designated hitter Kyle Stanton are the other Millstadt players in the starting lineup.
Fairview Heights has three starters -- second baseman Sam Wahlig, centerfielder Michael Adamson and catcher Brad Dunnigan.
Thoma, who plays for Valmeyer, is the starter in right field. The ageless Jeff Schwierjohn, of Edwardsville, is the starter at third base and Belleville's Dan Munoz gets the nod at first base.
Ritzheimer still did not know who will be the starting pitcher for the CCL will be when asked late Tuesday.
One person it won't be is Bartelso ace Joel Boeschen. Ritzheimer said Boeschen suffered an injury last week and will not pitch on Wednesday.
"I don't know what we'll do. We've got a couple of different options we can go with. I'm going to get with (assistant) coach Glenn Kohrmann tonight (Tuesday) and we'll decide,'' Ritzheimer said.
Bartelso, which leads the CCL with an 8-0 record, leads the way with five players chosen to the squad. Pitcher Joel Zurliene, pitcher/infielder Jordan Kreke, outfielder Ryan Meyer and infielders Jason Cobb and Dusty Kantner, are Bartelso's representatives.
Cobb was the co-MVP of the 2011 all-star game.
Ritzheimer hopes the CCL can duplicate their performance of 2011 on Wednesday.
"We got them (Mon-Clair League) a couple of years ago and for the most part the games we've played in recent years have been competitive and have gone down to the last couple of innings,'' Ritzheimer said.
"I really think our guys look forward to this game. For one, it's nice to recognized by the other managers in the league for excelling during the first half of the year."
Contact reporter Dean Criddle at 239-2661 or firstname.lastname@example.org