By michael boyd jr.
Seventh-ranked Valle Catholic manufactured the only run in this baseball game in the bottom of the eighth inning to prevail 1-0 over previously undefeated John Burroughs Saturday evening at Alumni Field.
Pinch hitter Rylan Fallert placed a perfect squeeze bunt that scored Aiden Heberlie for the game-winning play against the St. Louis-based Catholic school.
Heberlie singled in his turn at the plate in the eighth. He then stole second base and advanced to third base before Fallert squeezed him home.
And with that play, Heberlie, who took the mound in relief in the top of the eighth, also collected the pitching win as he struck out two of the three Bombers he faced.
Unfortunately, that meant Collin Vaeth did not get the proper credit for his part in the dandy pitchers’ duel with the Bombers’ John Butka.
Vaeth pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out seven, while allowing just four hits and two walks.
Butka pitched from beginning to end, allowing the earned run on seven hits and four walks, while striking out eight.
For Valle, Vaeth and No. 9 batter Michael Okenfuss both had two hits, while R. Fallert, and Isaac Viox (walk) also had singles.
This victory helped the seventh-ranked Warriors (9-2), who committed eight errors on the day, soothe a disappointing loss to Portageville earlier in the day. It was their fourth win in five games. It also was a dry and warmer day compared to earlier in the week.
Heberlie, a football-basketball-baseball standout who favors baseball, was supposed to play on this very day in the MAAA Conference vs. JCAA Conference boys’ all-star basketball game at Mineral Area College in Park Hills, but he opted to play baseball.
MSHSAA only allows athletes to play one sport during a 24-hour period.
The Warriors host MAAA conference foe Valley (Caledonia) at 4 p.m. Thursday, then visit Norte Dame (Cape Girardeau) at 4:30 p.m. Friday, then host conference foe Arcadia Valley at 4:30 p.m. Monday (Apr. 11) for senior night.
That’s right, after that, they hit the road for the remainder of the season – nine regular-season games and three tournaments. The only exception would be games they host during the MAAA conference tournament.
ν Portageville 6, No. 7 Warriors 2: The Bulldogs from the Bootheel scored three runs in the top of the first inning, which proved to be enough Saturday morning against the seventh-ranked host at Alumni Field.
Both teams combined for nine errors on a day where the temperatures were much nicer compared to earlier in the week.
Valle Catholic (8-2), which saw its three-game win streak end after five errors, got its first run in the bottom half of the first only to see Portageville add a run in both the second and third frames and hold on from there.