By ERIC X. VICCARO
Ste. Genevieve Herald
The Ste. Genevieve Riverdogs 14-under baseball team recently capped the summer 2020 season in grand style.
The Riverdogs clipped the St. Clair (Ill.) Stars 4-3 in the championship game of a tournament at Pacific – striking out the side in the fateful seventh inning to give them the title.
The team earned the No. 1 seed after pool play, and then knocked off a squad from Jefferson County in the semifinals.
In all, the Riverdogs won their final eight games.
“We were pretty happy about that,” said Dr. Jeff Nix, one of the Riverdogs’ assistant coaches. “It means a lot to me to see the kids have success.”
Nix’s son, Mason, played multiple positions on the team – pitcher, first base and outfield.
And that’s one of the reasons why the Riverdogs prospered. All of the boys can pitch and they can play many different spots on the field.
“All of the kids pitched at least one inning,” Nix said. “Some pitched just three, four or five innings. When you play five games in two days, you need pitchers.”
Matt Fallert served as the head coach, with Ben Joggerst also an assistant.
The family ties are rich.
Matt Fallert instructed his son, Rylan, and nephew, Grant. Ben Joggerst coached his son, Gavyn.
“It was a great opportunity to coach my son,” Joggerst said.
For Joggerst, there were two ideals he wanted to pass along to his son – teaching respect for the opponents and overall sportsmanship.
“That was the main goal for me over these seven years,” he said.
The remainder of the team includes Preston Lurk, like Mason a left-handed pitcher, Noah Bauman, Alex Viox, Isaac Viox, Isaac Basler, Bryant Schwent, Cannon Wolk, Gabe Willett and Alex Fleeman.
Every single player made lasting contributions, the coaching staff said.
Riverdogs president Nick Fallert appreciated the efforts of the 14-under team.
“It was great to see them go out with a bang,” Nick Fallert said. “They are a strong group of kids, and it was well-deserved.”
“We’ve coached 10 of these