College Sports

College baseball scene includes lots of top metro-east talent

O’Fallon High graduate Tanner Hudson, a senior at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, was named Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week this week.
O’Fallon High graduate Tanner Hudson, a senior at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, was named Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week this week.

O’Fallon High graduate Tanner Hudson had a week to remember and it earned the Missouri-St. Louis senior third baseman Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Week honors.

Hudson crushed opposing pitching for a .632 average (12-for-19) last week with two doubles, two home runs, six RBIs and eight runs scored for the Tritons. He became the first UMSL player to win GLVC Player of the Week honors since 2014.

Through 20 games, Hudson was hitting .385 with three homers and 16 RBIs.

Senior pitcher Zach Lindsay (Mascoutah) is 1-1 with a 4.03 ERA in five games with 27 strikeouts in 29 innings, while junior reliever Alex Oltmann (Mascoutah) is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA, two saves and 15 strikeouts in 14 innings.

▪ Preseason All-American Tanner Houck (Collinsville), a 6-foot-5 junior right-hander at 23rd-ranked Missouri (21-4), was 3-2 with a 2.80 ERA in his first six starts this season heading into a Friday night showdown against Florida ace Alex Faedo. Houck, who has 32 strikeouts in 33 innings, is considered one of the top college pitching prospects for the upcoming Major League Draft.

▪ Belleville West graduate Adam Bauer is putting together a second straight monster season at Murray State. The senior first baseman is third on the team with a .349 average through 23 games, which includes four doubles, four triples, two home runs and 20 RBIs. Bauer also has a team-leading 18 walks.

On March 2, Bauer belted two home runs and collected five RBIs in a win over Kentucky State. The former Southwestern Illinois College player was third on the team in hitting in 2016, carrying a .341 average in 56 games with eight doubles, a school-record nine triples, five homers, 40 RBIs and a .453 on-base percentage.

Bauer’s 67 runs scored last spring were the third-highest total in MSU history and he racked up 22 multi-hit games.

▪ Through 21 games for 17th-ranked Arkansas (20-5), junior designated hitter-infielder Chad Spanberger (Granite City) is hitting .237 with four homers and 14 RBIs. Spanberger has done even better in six Southeastern Conference games, third on the team with a .308 average with two homers and eight RBIs.

Freshman first baseman-DH Jordan McFarland (Waterloo) has played in 15 games, compiling a .283 average with two homers and 10 RBIs.

▪ Sophomore right-hander Chris Holba (O’Fallon) is tied for the team-lead in pitching wins at 16th-ranked East Carolina (18-8) and leads the team in earned-run average. Holba is 3-0 in eight appearances with a 1.82 ERA, one save and 36 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings.

▪ Missouri State senior infielder Aaron Meyer (Belleville West) was hitting .290 through 24 games with six doubles and 13 RBIs for the Bearas (15-9).

Freshman catcher Drew Millas (Belleville East) is at .213 in 23 games with thee doubles, one homer and 14 RBIs. Senior outfielder Blake Graham (Edwardsville) is hoping to return soon after being slowed by a knee injury, while freshman pitcher Tyler McAlister (Waterloo) has pitched in five games in relief.

▪ Belleville West graduate Matt Klosterman heated up early this season and still hasn’t cooled off, hitting .500 through 24 games with six doubles and 16 RBIs. Catcher-outfielder Keegan Baxmeyer (Freeburg) is at .408 in 18 games with six doubles and a team-leading five homers and 26 RBIs.

Freshman infielder-pitcher Cal Kossina (Belleville West) is at .365 in 23 games with four doubles, two triples and 13 RBIs. He’s also 1-1 as a pitcher with a 1.23 ERA.

Freshman infielder Mitchell Krebs (Edwardsville) is hitting .397 in 19 games with nine doubles and 13 RBIs, while sophomore catcher Dylan McEwen (Collinsville) is at .339 with five doubles and eigth RBIs. Also at SWIC are freshman outfielder Brady Rakers (Mater Dei), hitting .286 with four homers and 10 RBIs, and sophomore outfielder Derrick Rozycke (Freeburg), hitting .272 with four doubles and 11 RBIs.

▪ Saint Louis University freshman infielder-outfielder Jake Garella (Edwardsville) is off to a strong start, hitting 304 in 17 games for the Billikens (17-6) with two doubles, one homer and nine RBIs.

▪ Southern Illinois University Carbondale junior bullpen ace Ryan Netemeyer (Mascoutah) is 0-0 with a 1.88 ERA and eight saves in 13 appearances. He had 16 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings.

Also playing for the Salukis are former O’Fallon standout and freshman pitcher-outfielder Bradley Harrison (.143 through 16 games; 0-3 as a pitcher with 12 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings) and junior infielder Drew Curtis (Edwardsville). Curtis is hitting .267 with one RBI in seven games.

▪ The top hitter at Eastern Illinois University is junior outfielder Joseph Duncan (Highland). In 24 games, Duncan is hitting .301 with three homers, 15 RBIs and 17 runs.

Junior first baseman Hunter Beetley (Nashville) is at .171 in 17 games with one homer and four RBIs for EIU, while junior pitcher Jake Haberer (Highland) is 0-0 with a 3.63 ERA in seven games. Haberer has 18 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings.

▪ Two of the top hitters at SIU Edwardsville this season are sophomore catcher Brock Weimer (Edwardsville) and senior infielder Keaton Wright (Triad).

Through 21 games for the Cougars (14-10), Weimer was hitting .324 with five homers and 21 RBIs. Wright was at .312 with four homers and 19 RBIs in 24 games.

SIUE junior pitcher Mason McReaken (Centralia) was recently named Ohio Valley Conference Co-Pitcher of the Week. He’s 2-1 with a 1.66 ERA and five saves in 12 games, striking out 25 in 21 2/3 innings. Junior pitcher Nelson Martz (Roxana) is 3-2 with a 3.41 ERA.

▪ Former Freeburg standout Nick Yung is among the pitching leaders for McKendree (8-14). The junior right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings.

▪ Freshman outfielder Patrick Gaul (Belleville East) and and senior outfielder Ethan Ruff (Waterloo) are two of the top hitter for Lindenwood-Belleville.

Through 31 games for the Lynx (17-14), Gaul was hitting .340 with seven doubles, one home run, 14 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. Ruff was also at .340 in 30 games with four doubles, 13 RBIs and 23 stolen bases. Senior infielder-pitcher Alex Wittenauer (Waterloo) was hitting .240 through 20 games with one homer and 10 RBIs.

Norm Sanders: 618-239-2454, @NormSanders

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