What was supposed to be a showcase of some of the top amateur baseball in the St. Louis area at Borsch Memorial Park never really got off the ground as the 45th annual Valmeyer Mid-Summer Classic was canceled by rain and muddy field conditions.
Always one of the top attractions in Monroe County during the Fourth of July weekend, the tournament started on Saturday morning with defending champion Waterloo defeating the St. Louis Printers 4-3.
But with Millstadt and Cape Girardeau, Mo. battling to a 2-2 tie after five innings in the second quarterfinal, the rain began and didn’t let up for the next two days. Finally with the field conditions becoming unplayable despite the efforts of Valmeyer players and tournament personnel, Valmeyer manager Dennis Pieper confirmed on Monday morning that the event had been canceled.
“When Mother Nature gets involved, sometimes all you can sit back and watch the corn grow,’’ Pieper said. “We’ve been working on the field, but with it continuing to rain and with no sunshine to help it dry things up, the field was just too wet. It’s the first time in 45 years we’ve had to cancel the entire tournament.’’
Also canceled this weekend was the American Legion Baseball Southwest Illinois Firecracker Classic.
Mon-Clair season to continue
The Waterloo Millers and Fairview Heights Redbirds look to build on their Mon-Clair League Divisional leads on Sunday when the second half of the ‘16 season begins with doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.
Heading into the second half, Waterloo, a perennial league power, is 12-4 and holds a one game lead over Millstadt VFW (11-5) in the Monroe Division. Belleville is a distant third with a 7-7 league mark.
In the St. Clair Division, Fairview Heights (11-5) also has a one game lead — over the St. Louis Printers — which are 10-6. Charleston (Mo.) is currently third at 7-9.
Doubleheaders set for Saturday include Millstadt at Waterloo, St. Louis Spikes at Valmeyer, Belleville at Columbia, St. Louis Printers at Fairview Heights and Charleston (Mo.) at Edwardsville. All games are doubleheaders beginning at 1:30 p.m.
The annual Mon-Clair League All-Star Game will be played at Waterloo on July 13 at 7 p.m. The game will pit the Monroe Division against the St. Clair Division.