Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Peters Defeats Browns Twice in Must-Win Games

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Peters Defeats Browns Twice in Must-Win Games

Article excerpt

The East Missouri Baseball Association is less than two months old, but St. Peters player/manager Rick Reno viewed Sunday's doubleheader against the O'Fallon Browns as a must-win situation.

"In this league, you have to win your home games and we felt it was important that we get back to the .500 mark," Reno said. "I still think we're capable of playing better, especially on defense. But winning these two games was definitely a step in the right direction for us."

St. Peters (3-3) beat the visiting O'Fallon Browns 12-2 and 13-7 Sunday at C-H Park.

The Browns (0-7) hung tough early in game one, but St. Peters' power game was simply too much. Kurt Venneman hit a two-run homer in the third to break a 2-2 tie and J.J. Suftko hit a grand-slam to highlight a five-run fifth.

"We had four straight hits and then J.J. went deep," Reno said. "That really turned the momentum our way."

Suftko finished with two hits and five RBIs while Venneman had two hits and a pair of RBIs. Todd Greenwood (four for four, three runs, three RBIs), Allen Jones (three hits), Jason Sievert (two hits) and Phil Sutton (two hits) also had big offensive games for St. Peters.

Jones was the starting and winning pitcher. Danny Barton, who formerly pitched for St. Peters, started and took the loss for the Browns.

In the nightcap, St. Peters exploded with five runs in the fifth and five more in the sixth to pull away late.

Sievert (three hits, including a home run), Greenwood (two hits, two RBIs), Jones (two hits), Shawn Young (two hits) and Steve Joos (two hits, three walks, two RBIs) paced St. Peters in game two. Chuck Schaeffer started and was the winning pitcher.

Mike Moynihan and Jay Copeland had two hits apiece to pace the Browns. Copeland took the loss in relief. In other East League doubleheaders Sunday:

VFW Post 4219/Portage 7-8, St. Charles White Sox 2-7 - Despite managing just nine hits on the day, VFW/Portage (5-1) somehow came away with the doubleheader sweep.

"We were lucky. Real lucky," player/manager Larry Echele said. "In the first game, we took advantage of walks, wild pitches and errors. But in the second game, we came up with some big hits at key times."

Robert Kemna picked up the opening-game victory, scattering six hits with six strikouts and no walks. …

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