LEADWOOD – The only time the Ste. Genevieve Dragons and the West County Bulldogs played each other in the regular season the Bulldogs won by a final score of 13-2, which may have influenced their receiving a No. 4 seed, and Ste. Genevieve being seeded No. 5 in this week’s conference tournament.
Tuesday’s game between the two teams resulted in the same score, 13-2, but this time it was the Dragons coming out on top in their final pool play game, advancing them to the first-place bracket, while dropping the Bulldogs into the fifth-place bracket.
The Dragons hit the ball, and they hit it hard as they sprayed the Bulldogs outfield with a constant bombardment of line drive shots for 17 hits, including four doubles and a triple.
Wyatt Lalumondier silenced most of the West County’s hitters as he gave up only four hits in his six innings on the mound. Lalumondier struck out five and walked only one, and at the plate, he was 3-5 with two doubles and two RBI’s.
Defensively, the Bulldogs were exceptional as they turned three double plays in the game, and only committed one error, which happened on the first play of the game.
The game’s momentum switched twice in the first inning as the Dragons put runners at the corners with one out, but a comebacker to starting pitcher Jonathan Hovick was quickly turned into a 1-6-3 double play to get out of the inning.
The Bulldogs (13-6) capitalized on a pair of Ste. Genevieve errors in the bottom of the first with a double steal by Tyler Neubrand and Clayton Brinkley. Neubrand was able to score on a sacrifice fly to right by Jared Jones for the Bulldogs only lead of the game.
The Dragons came out swinging in the top of the second as they plated five runs on six hits. Blake Meyer started the rally with a single and was forced to stop at third when a ball hit by Dalton Giesler one-hopped the centerfield fence for a ground-rule double. Designated hitter Nevada McAlpin drove them both in with the team’s second double.
Tate Mayer and Cody Stacy both hit RBI singles in the inning with a Lalumondier double sandwiched in between. Drew Schmelzle hit a sacrifice fly to drive in the fifth run.
Hovick remained in the game for West County after giving way to Neubrand in the top of the second, and he unleashed an RBI triple in the bottom of the inning to drive in Clayton LaBruyere who had reached on an infield single. Hovick and LaBruyere were both 2-3 in the game for the Bulldogs’ only hits.
The Dragons scored three more in the fourth as Meyer drove in one run with a triple and Andrew DeRousse and Blake Meyer followed with back-to-back RBI singles.
Ste. Genevieve (12-11) scored their final five runs in the top of the seventh which seemed to mirror the five run second. A bunt single by catcher Jake Brewster loaded the bases, Lalumondier drove in two with his second double. Tate Meyer and Stacy again drove in one run each with singles, and Schmelzle drove in the inning’s fifth run with his second sacrifice fly.
Stacy finished the game 3-5 and Bake Meyer, Giesler, Brewster and Tate Meyer had two hits each in the game for the Dragons.
Ste. Genevieve will play at home today against Valle Catholic in a first-place semi-final game. West County will also be at home today to play Arcadia Valley in a fifth-place semi-final. Both games are at 4:30 p.m.