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Archers look sharp in win over Lewis and Clark at Busch Stadium

September 06, 2011

In what has served as arguably the most anticipated event of the fall season for St. Louis Community College baseball players, the Archers defeated Lewis and Clark 6-2 in eight innings on Sept. 4.

This was the first year in which STLCC hosted the Trailblazers at Busch Stadium. In previous years, the Meramec team squared off against Forest Park.

Players and coaches for both teams waited out a 10-inning, 3-2 Cardinals loss to the Reds before taking the field Sunday evening. The experience was worth the wait.

“It’s always a great experience for these guys,” Archers head coach Tony Dattoli said. “To come out here and play on a major league ball field, it’s something that many of these kids aspire to get to.

“Unfortunately, the reality of it is that they’re not all going to do it,” he added. “But especially to be able to see the Cardinals play and see the Reds play and take the same field on the same day, it’s a pretty special experience.”

The Archers scored two runs in the second and three more in the third, as they managed to string hits together as well as capitalize on a couple defensive miscues by Lewis and Clark. A late insurance run sealed a comfortable win for STLCC.

Individual performances were brief, as STLCC continued to cycle players throughout the contest. The Archers deployed 46 different players in the game – including 18 pitchers – as Dattoli worked to find playing time for each player on the roster. Pitchers were limited to no more than two-thirds of an inning of work, and position players remained in the lineup for three innings each. 

Though the sample size for individuals was small, Dattoli liked what he saw.

“I was very encouraged by the quality at-bats that we were taking,” Dattoli said. “I thought we went up there with a good approach. Obviously, throughout a baseball game you’re going to have some poor at-bats, but for the most part, I thought we had quality at-bats. I like the fact that our pitchers came in and threw a lot of strikes, and defensively we did well on the communication side and getting things done.”

The win served as a highlight of a fall season that is always ripe with planning, evaluation and roster shuffling for Dattoli and his staff. With such a large roster at this time of the year, simply getting to know each player on a personal basis can be a challenge. Dattoli points out that while baseball is the focus, there is a greater purpose to be achieved at the collegiate level.

“I think the most important thing is for me to establish a rapport with each of my guys, each and every one of them,” Dattoli said. “The most important part is that they understand that what we’re trying to do as a program and as a team is make them better people. What we really want to impose on these guys and really teach them is the educational aspect of what we’re trying to do here.”