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HS Baseball: Southwestern makes case for high-ranked St. Louis area team

By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter

With the early portion of its schedule packed with St. Louis area locals, the Southwestern High School baseball team’s first goal was clear – make a case, not just as one of the squads to fear in the South Central Conference, but also as one of the higher-ranked squads in the entire region.

The Piasa Birds got off to a great start, taking down three non-conference neighbors that had solidified similar winning traditions.

Southwestern started by defending home field in a back-to-back with Jerseyville and Marquette. The Birds held off the Panthers, 4-3, Mar. 19 and dominated the Explorers, 11-1 to remain perfect, at the time, at 3-0.

Adversity kicked in on the road but Southwestern held strong. The Birds suffered a close first loss of the season at 4A Alton, 3-1, Mar. 21 and were three outs away from another tight defeat at Roxana Mar. 22. But, this time, the Birds were able to rejuvenate their offense in the clutch and soared ahead of the Shells with four runs in the top of the seventh prior to leaving town with a 6-4 comeback victory under their wings.

Gillespie

Gillespie raised its record to 6-2, winning three of four contests for the second week in a row.

The Miners scored 11 runs in the top of the fifth inning and defeated Auburn on enemy turf, 18-10, Mar. 19. Jesse Berry electrified the Gillespie offense, going a perfect 4-for-4 with a home run and five RBI in the win.

Gillespie fell to former state contender Columbia at home, 3-0, Mar. 22 but rebounded for a doubleheader sweep of Riverton (6-0) and Heyworth (3-1) the next day.

Staunton

After getting torched 15-1 at Roxana Mar. 19, the Staunton Bulldogs stopped a four-game slide with back-to-back home wins over Dupo (15-2) Mar. 20 and Lebanon (14-1) Mar. 21.

Staunton capped off a stretch of four games in four days at Breese Central, where the Bulldogs were defeated by the Cougars in an 11-6 slugfest Mar. 22.
Staunton is 3-6 on the year.

Other action

In other action, Bunker Hill (3-3) picked up two victories over Springfield Lutheran, 16-3, Mar. 19 and 5-4, Mar. 21 while Carlinville and North Mac remained dormant in the win column.

Carlinville got outscored 24-2 in its first three games, losing to Lincolnwood, 9-0, Mar. 19, Greenfield-Northwestern, 9-1, Mar. 20 and Nokomis, 6-1, Mar. 21.

North Mac submerged to 0-2 with an 11-1 loss at Tri-City Mar. 19.