Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Paul Wins One, Loses One Manager Is Happy with Showing over Weekend

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Paul Wins One, Loses One Manager Is Happy with Showing over Weekend

Article excerpt

The St. Paul team of the East Missouri Baseball Association won one and lost one over the weekend.

But player/manager A.J. Koenig wasn't complaining.

"Sure, we would've liked to win both, but we played good games against two of the league's better ballclubs," said Koenig, whose team beat VFW Post 4219/Portage 18-9 Friday and fell 4-3 to Old Monroe Sunday. "If nothing else, we showed ourselves that we can play with Old Monroe. And that's a big step for a young ballclub like ours."

Old Monroe, the West League leader at 8-2, won its eighth consecutive game Sunday, pushing across the winning run on an error, a sacrifice bunt and a Mike Landwehr single in the bottom of the ninth.

"If we make the plays, we win the game," Koenig said. "All four of their runs were unearned."

The loss spoiled an outstanding pitching effort from Neil Feldewerth, who allowed seven hits, struck out four and walked no one.

"It was the best-pitched game I've ever seen from a St. Paul pitcher against Old Monroe," Koenig said. "The errors gave Old Monroe a chance to blow the game open, but Neil wouldn't let that happen. He kept his cool and pitched a great ballgame. It's unfortunate we couldn't win it for him."

Feldewerth, a Fort Zumwalt North High product, recently returned home after helping Central Missouri State win the NCAA Division II World Series.

"Getting Neil back is going to help our ballclub a lot," Koenig said.

St. Paul (5-5) went up on an unearned run in the first, but Old Monroe answered with three unearned runs in the fifth. Landwehr, Randy Bals and Kent Keiser drove in the Old Monroe runs in that inning.

In the St. Paul seventh, Rick Probst walked, Dan Orf singled and Jeff Molitor doubled in two runs to tie the game at 3-3.

"It's a game we could've, and probably should've, won," Koenig said.

In a wild one Friday, St. Paul outlasted VFW/Portage 18-9.

"It was an ugly, ugly ballgame," Koenig said. "And it was a marathon - I know a lot of people were just happy to see it finally end."

VFW/Portage player/manager Larry Echele agreed: "It was worst game I've ever seen in this league. I didn't think either team played well at all."

Up 11-9, St. Paul put the game away with a seven-run eighth. Neil Feldewerth highlighted the inning with a three-run home run.

Earlier in the game, Jeff Schipper (three-run shot) of St. Paul and Mark Hanneke (grand slam) had hit home runs.

The game featured 26 walks, including 17 given out by VFW/Portage pitchers.

"The umpire had a strike zone the size of postage stamp," Koenig said.

And VFW/Portage was short of pitching to begin with; Robert Kemna was out of town and Jason French has had some arm soreness.

"We just couldn't seem to get the ball over the plate," said Echele, who was VFW/Portage's fourth and final pitcher. "Plus, I knew we had to have somebody to throw Sunday. …

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