Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Charles Looking to Sit in `Driver's Seat' in District Nine Tourney

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Charles Looking to Sit in `Driver's Seat' in District Nine Tourney

Article excerpt

The St. Charles American Legion team is right where it wants to be - or pretty close.

Top-seeded St. Charles will play No. 2 Sullivan at 8 p.m. Thursday at C-H Park in winners' bracket play of the District Nine Baseball Tournament, which runs through the weekend. "We're playing good ball and we're looking forward to playing Sullivan," St. Charles manager Ed Janke said. "This is a key game. The winner of this one is really in the driver's seat."

In a similar situation last year, St. Charles was upset by Sullivan. St. Charles battled back through the losers' bracket, but fell to Sullivan again in the championship game.

"Hopefully, this time things will work out a little better for us," said Janke, whose team is 25-5. "Sullivan's a very good team; there's no doubt about that. But I think our guys will be ready."

St. Charles beat Sullivan 8-1 at Blanchette Park early in the season. A week ago, Sullivan upended visiting St. Charles 4-1.

"The second game was a real pitcher's duel," Janke said. "We feel pretty good about our chances, but we also know we're in for a battle. Our guys seem to have stepped up their play a couple of notches and that's what it takes.

"We're playing every game as if there's no tomorrow."

St. Charles advanced to Thursday's game with victories over O'Fallon (6-1) Saturday and Elsberry (12-2) Sunday.

Against eighth-seeded O'Fallon, St. Charles started slowly, stranding five runners in the first two innings.

"We ended up with 12 hits, but we also left 11," Janke said. "O'Fallon gave us a fight. (Andy) Patzius pitched a good game."

But St. Charles' Ryan Modde pitched even better. He allowed just four hits in going the distance. He struck out 10 and walked three.

Offensively, St. Charles was paced by Trey Herweck (two hits, three RBIs), Aaron Wilson (two hits), Jeremy Ketcham (two hits) and D.J. Brandes (two hits).

In Sunday's game, St. Charles starter Steve Haunschild struggled early, walking three of the first four Elsberry batters he faced. …

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