Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wentzville Legion: New Faces, New Hopes

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wentzville Legion: New Faces, New Hopes

Article excerpt

The Wentzville American Legion baseball team entered last season with a lot of talent and great expectations.

But injuries limited Post 323, which finished 21-16.

"We had a good ballclub, but the injuries really killed us," manager John Moorman said. "We lost a lot of key players off that team, so we're looking at a lot of new faces this year.

"It's still early to know exactly what we have here, but I'm excited about this ballclub; I think we can do at least as well as last year. Maybe even better."

Wentzville, which opened the season with an 8-4 victory over O'Fallon last week, played defending District Nine champion St Charles Saturday and O'Fallon again Sunday.

"We have some speed - we stole 12 bases against O'Fallon - and that's going to be a key for us," Moorman said. "We'll hit and run, we'll squeeze and we'll do whatever we can to put added pressure on the defense."

But pitching will be the key to Wentzville's season. Staff ace Rodney Matheson is back, but he's been bothered by early-season arm soreness. Denny Pitman, Steve Moorman, Scott Johnson, Roy Palenzuela, Craig Salonies, Steve Smith and Zack Feltenstein are the team's regular pitchers. Lenny Capstick and Brad Weitkamp can also throw.

Johnson and Capstick are the staff's lefties; the younger Moorman will likely fill the closer role out of the bullpen.

"Steve's has never been able to throw a lot of innings, but I think he can do the job as a closer," manager Moorman said. "He and Rodney are returning college players and I think that's been part of Rodney's trouble. He didn't play in the spring and he rushed himself a little bit."

Moorman continued: "We have a number of guys who can throw and they all throw strikes - that's so important. And I think we'll be pretty solid on defense, too."

Matheson, one of the team's top hitters a year ago, will play center field while Steve Moorman is the team's regular third baseman. Pitman (OF/3B), Capstick (OF), Salonies (2B/OF), Johnson (OF), Weitkamp (1B/OF) and Feltenstein (1B/OF) also figure to see regular action when they're not on the mound. …

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