Baseball

Vianney meets expectations with state title

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Expectations were high for St. John Vianney's baseball team this year after it came within a whisker of going to the state final last year.

This year's team reached the title game June 1 at Car Shield Field in O'Fallon. Noah Niznik's four-plus innings in relief and an offense determined to bounce back from an early deficit led to an 8-2 win over Hickman and a Class 5 championship.

Go To Bat for Kids provides unforgettable memories for kids

Carlos Williams threw out the first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals’ game on April 20. Carlos had been selected through Catholic Charities of St. Louis’ Go to Bat for Kids campaign.

With three curved fingers hooked on top, and a thumb positioned underneath, Carlos Williams demonstrated how he held the baseball for his first-ever major-league pitch.

The 7-year-old threw the first pitch at the St. Louis Cardinals game April 20 as part of Catholic Charities of St. Louis' Go to Bat for Kids campaign.

Later, Carlos showed off his newly prized possession, the ball signed by Cardinals pitcher Matt Bowman.

"That's how he told me to throw it," Carlos said of his expert advice. "And I was the only one that got to throw that ball."

Vianney star catches baseballs, Catholic faith

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The chapel at St. John Vianney High School was packed with close to 200 people for the Easter Vigil, including a number of the baseball players who came to support their teammate who was baptized, confirmed and received the Eucharist for the first time.

Andrew Keck, a catcher on the baseball team who was named to the All Metro Team last season, said around Lent every year he had thought about becoming a Catholic. His mom was raised Catholic, he said, and didn't have him baptized, wanting him to make the decision on his own.

Players from Catholic schools in St. Louis living their dream

Brian Howard pitches during a recent game for the Vermont Lake Monsters in baseball's minor leagues. Earlier this year his 12 strikeouts tied the single-game College World Series high.

Players from Catholic schools in the archdiocese were well represented at the Major League Baseball draft in June. The draft lasted three days, with 40 rounds and 1,215 selections, and three players from St. Louis Catholic schools were drafted.

Jake Burger was drafted 11th overall in the first round of the 2017 Major League draft by the Chicago White Sox. He was undrafted after attending Christian Brothers College High School and chose to attend Missouri State University, where he was a three-time All-American. This year, he hit .328 with 22 home runs and 65 RBIs.

Confident St. Pius’ crew thrive at bat, in the field

St. Pius X shortstop Eli Dale tagged out Whitfield’s Legend Alicea on a steal attempt. St. Pius’s pitching, hitting and fielding was top-notch April 17 in a 14-0 win vs. Whitfield High School. Senior catcher Zac Meyer led the offense with three doubles, a home run and three runs batted in. Sophomore Jeremy Isenman struck out five in three innings, giving up one hit, to lead a quartet of pitchers in the shutout.

Players on the St. Pius X High School baseball team are a confident bunch, and it shows in their crisp play in the field and at bat.

Yet, for all of that confidence — "swagger," as their coach calls it — they're quick to recognize the importance of their teammates for their success.

New Mizzou coach stands out for stress on core values

Southeast head coach Steve Bieser watches the from the sideline in the fourth inning against Belmont at Capaha Field on Friday, May 20, 2016. Belmont won 4-3.

Steve Bieser's coaching is built on four cornerstones. The first is faith — the core values of players, their integrity and the character they represent as well as self-worth, purpose and respect. Family, education and service are the others.

His record shows those cornerstones built a strong foundation.

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