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Archers Sweep Three Rivers to Open Region XVI Play

March 15, 2013

Matt Weiss  

Sophomore first baseman Matt Weiss clubbed his
first home run of the season as the Archers swept
Three Rivers March 14 to open Region XVI play. 

As the St. Louis Community College baseball team trailed 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth inning during first game of a doubleheader against Three Rivers Community College March 14 at Heine Meine Field, sophomore first baseman Matt Weiss (Parkway South High School) said he was looking for a pitch to put into play with two runners on.

What resulted was a line-drive home run which sailed over the scoreboard in right-center field to tie the game at 3-3. The home run was the first of Weiss’ collegiate career, and after it, the Archers never trailed again. STLCC swept the twin bill 10-3 (seven innings) in Game 1 and 6-0 in Game 2 — a nine-inning affair.

“I happen to get a good piece of it, and it went over,” Weiss said. “It’s my first one, so it’s kind of nice to get it out of the way.”

The Archers ran into some trouble early in Game1. After a shaky outing by sophomore pitcher Mike Erhard (CBC), freshman pitcher Adam Bax (Blair Oaks) earned the win with 5 2/3 scoreless innings of relief to go along with eight strikeouts.

STLCC broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth inning with a seven-run outburst that sent 11 hitters to the plate. Sophomore catcher Alex Stoll (Kearney), freshman center fielder Austin Evans (Kearney) and freshman shortstop Enrique Finol (St. Thomas Aquinas, Fla.) each recorded a two-RBI hit in the inning. Erhard, who also was the designated hitter, also collected an RBI in the eventful seventh inning.

“We kind of had a rough start in the second inning of the first game,” coach Tony Dattoli said. “(Three Rivers) was able to score three runs on no hits. We just couldn’t throw strikes. In that certain situation early in the game, you have to be able to force the other teams to put the ball into play. If they get hits, they get hits. But, it’s one of those scenarios where you can’t give free bases. Fortunately, we stuck to the game plan. We were able to tack some runs across the board and kind of pull away in the first game.”

The Archers had a three-run second inning of their own in Game 2. Sophomore third baseman Larry Schimsa (Pacific) laced an RBI double and scored in the third. STLCC pushed across two runs in the fourth and an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. Evans also stole two bases. Finol had a two-RBI game.

The Archers’ six runs stood up as sophomore pitcher Dave Mullins (DeSmet) pitched seven shutout innings, scattering four hits with four strikeouts to his one walk. Mullins was coming off a start in which he surrendered eight runs in 5 1/3 innings. However, he bounced back to handcuff the Raiders for seven innings.

“Dave’s performance was right on par with what we expect of him every outing,” Dattoli said.

With the sweep, the Archers’ record stands at 8-8 and a 2-0 mark in Region XVI play. STLCC also has won six of its last seven, which includes a four-game winning streak. In its last seven games, STLCC has scored 69 runs for an average of almost 10 per game.

Dattoli said for the team to keep winning, the Archers need to continue to play team baseball and produce clutch hits along with productive at-bats.

“The key point really is understanding the approach of what we’re trying to accomplish and having quality at-bats,” Dattoli said. “When you’re swinging at pitches in the zone and attacking the fastball, you give yourself the opportunity to have a better product and better result. We’re starting to get guys one through nine — guys we’re pulling off the bench — who are buying into the same approach.”

Story by Tim Doty