HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL — GAMEDAY PREVIEW
Lafayette Lancers (11-5-1) vs. Eureka Wildcats (9-4)
Sunday, April 22, 2012 — Noon — Busch Stadium
The matchup that just might be the best high school baseball rivalry in the area will renew old acquaintances Sunday afternoon, when battles at Busch Stadium, the world-famous home of the World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals.
It's not the first time either school has played a game at Busch, but it is the first time Lafayette and Eureka have played each other there, so Sunday figures to be one of the all-time great days in the history of the Lancer v. Wildcat rivalry.
This season, both clubs are off to fantastic starts. Lafayette is 11-5-1, and has only one loss in its last eight games; while Eureka, the No. 2-ranked team in the area, is 9-4, and coming off wins over quality clubs Lindbergh and Marquette in the last week.
Sunday's matchup is also an important one in the Suburban West Conference race, as Lafayette holds first place with a 6-0 mark, while Eureka is tied for second at 4-2.
The Wildcats, who lost to the Lancers 6-2 on April 11, absolutely have to have a victory on Sunday, if they're going to have any chance at catching Lafayette and winning a piece of the conference title.
Lafayette, on the other hand, can give itself a real stranglehold on the league championship race, if it can pick up its second win over Eureka this season.
The Lancers already hold the tiebreaker edge over Parkway South, and can give themselves that same edge over Eureka with at Busch on Sunday.
Both clubs are expected to throw their No. 1 ace starters on Sunday, with senior Matt Goro going for Lafayette and fellow senior Matt Hasenbeck taking the ball for Eureka.
Goro is 3-0, with two complete games, and a 1.31 ERA for the Lancers, while Hasenbeck has the same perfect 3-0 record, with one complete game, and zero earned runs allowed in his three starts this season.
At the plate, the Lancers and Wildcats feature the Nos. 6 and 8 best hitters in the Suburban West this season, with Lafayette's Kyle Hanlon boasting a .471 batting average, and Eureka's Aaron Schnurbusch right behind at .435.
Lafayette has several other hitters having terrific seasons, including Adam Echele (.422 ba, team-high 11 RBIs), Taylor Baden (.419 ba, 5 RBIs), Nick Burdell (.417 ba, 6 RBIs), Dominic Besisi (.406 ba, 8 RBIs), and William DuPont (.340 ba, 1 HR, 10 RBIs, 10 stolen bases).
For Eureka, Hasenbeck is also the club's top power-hitter, with two home runs and a team-high 16 RBIs. But he also gets great help, from Mark Hencken (.421 ba, 15 RBIs), Trevor Fain (.361 ba, 9 RBIs), and Matt Dunavant (.323 ba, 4 RBIs).
LAFAYETTE — RHP Matt Goro (3-0) 1.31 ERA, 16.0 IP, 13 Ks, 1 BB.
EUREKA — RHP Matt Hasenbeck (3-0) 0.00 ERA, 18.2 IP, 19 Ks, 9 BB.
Lafayette Lancers Eureka Wildcats
7 William DuPont - SS 21 Trevor Fain - SS
14 Tyler Manne - 2B 10 Matt Hasenbeck - P
5 Kyle Hanlon - CF 11 Mark Hencken - C
25 Adam Echele - C 24 Matt Dunavant - 1B
2 Dominic Besisi - DH 20 Aaron Schnurbusch - OF
12 Connor Walk - LF 13 Sean Murley - 3B
23 Nick Burdell - 1B 4 Spencer Stein - 2B
8 Andres Fladda - 3B 29 Drew Fair - RF
17 Taylor Baden - RF 9 Josh Stephens - OF