State Baseball Adds Fifth Class, T.R. Hughes Hosts State Championships
By Jim Wieners
High School Baseball in Missouri will be played in five classes beginning this season and the home of the Frontier League’s River City Rascals will host the Missouri State High School Activities Association championships for the next four years.
In April, 2012, about 453 schools voted on excluding Baseball from having a minimum of 513 schools registered in that sport to compete in five classes. It passed 339-114, according to MSHSAA, and it also mandated that the sport be divided in five classes. So far only Boys and Girls Basketball has exceeded the minimum of 513 registered schools to compete in five sports while football, which competes in six classes of 11-man and one class of eight-man, is also exempted from the 513 minimum.
In addition MSHSAA member schools voted 266-120 in favor of schools playing a maximum of five extra games when school is not in session.
Most area high schools will compete in Class Five including Hazelwood Central, Hazelwood East, Hazelwood West, McCluer North and McCluer. All of those schools plus Riverview Gardens will compete in District Six while two other Suburban North Conference schools, Pattonville and Ritenour, are in other Class Five districts.
Three North County Suburban East Conference schools — Jennings, McCluer South-Berkeley and Normandy — will be in Class Four, District Six — while Lutheran North and Trinity Catholic will be in Class Three, District Five. District pairings will be announced in May. North County Christian, an MSHSAA Affiliate Registered School, will not compete in the MSHSAA championships but will compete May 2-4 in the Missouri Christian State Athletic Association Championships in Joplin and will be defending the MCSAA state title.
Beginning this season the MSHSAA state championships will be held at T.R. Hughes Ballpark, O’Fallon, Mo. The championship semifinals and finals will be held May 27-30 for Classes One, Two and Three and May 30-June 1 for Classes Four and Five. The games at T. R. Hughes will take place through 2016 at the earliest.
It is the first time since 1977 that the MSHSAA State Baseball Championships will be played in the St. Louis Area. In 1977 Heine Meine Field, Lemay, hosted the Class AA Championship won by Truman. Since then the Championships were held at the University of Missouri’s Hi Simmons Field, later Taylor Stadium, until 2006 when it was moved to Meador Park, Springfield and was held there until last year.
From 1950 to 1967 the MSHSAA Baseball championships were played in St. Louis area ballparks — Heine Meine, Sportsman’s Park (the first Busch Stadium on Grand at Dodier), Cherokee Park and Fairgrounds Park — From 1968 to 1977 the MSHSAA championships were played at seven different parks statewide including Heine Meine Field and Meador Park.
HAZELWOOD WEST 3-1 IN LINDBERGH/MEHLVILLE TOURNAMENT – Hazelwood West is off to a 3-1 start prior to March 25, all of the first four games played in the Lindbergh/Mehlville Tournament. West won March 16 at Mehlville, 10-6, March 21 at Lindbergh, 7-0, and March 22 at Oakville, 3-2. The Wildcats only tourney loss was March 19, 9-2 to Northwest-Cedar Hill at St. John Vianney.
Jordan Yakel, who has three doubles, Teddy Molinari, who has a .500 batting average with seven hits, and Carl Nichols, who stole three bases, has each driven home four runs. Jared Fosdick has scored four runs offensively while striking out 15 as a pitcher and Devin Williams has a pair of wins and 20 strikeouts. None of the Wildcats have committed a fielding error.
Hazelwood West’s Suburban North Conference opener with Riverview Gardens on March 25 has been snowed out and it is not certain at press time whether the Wildcats play March 27 at McCluer North.
LUTHERAN NORTH OPENS SEASON 3-0 INCLUDING DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP — Lutheran North opens the final season for Head Coach and Athletic Director Mike Russell, who will retire at the end of the season, with three home wins including a March 16 double-header sweep of Trinity Catholic, 5-0 and 4-3, and a 4-3 win March 21 over Bishop DuBourg. The March 25 home game in the North County Classic against Hazelwood East has been snowed out.
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