Busch Stadium has been a place that St. Louis-area baseball players and fans have flocked to for generations. To have the chance to play on a field where greats like Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright – to name a few – have played on is a great honor.
Get The Latest News!
Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.
Edwardsville's baseball team had a chance to play on it Saturday night when they took on South Central's Cougars, a school located in Farina and also representing the towns of Kinmundy, Alma and St. Peter in Fayette County, and the Tigers represented their home well, scoring three times in the first and fifth innings on their way to a 9-1 win. While the game continued past the top of the seventh - an additional inning and a half was played until a two-hour, 30-minute time limit was reached - the records of the game will only reflect a standard high-school game.
For some time, however, the game seemingly was not going to be played; it was scheduled to follow Saturday afternoon’s Cardinals game against the Detroit Tigers (the Cardinals fell to the Tigers 4-3 in 10 innings), and that game featured an 80-minute rain delay that seemed to put Edwardsville’s game in jeopardy. The Cardinals, however, let the game go on as scheduled and it began some 30 minutes after their game came to a conclusion.
The Busch Stadium game has become a highlight of the Tigers’ season each year, and EHS coach Tim Funkhouser was pleased to get the game in. “The Cardinals have been really good to us over the years,” Funkhouser said, “We were really glad we got the chance to play tonight, especially after the rain delay. I can’t thank the Cardinals enough for what they’ve done; a lot of folks have put in a long day here and they’ve done a tremendous job.”
As for the game itself, the Tigers came out swinging early and got off to a 3-0 lead early before the Cougars could get on the board. “We got some really good at-bats and the guys were swinging well,” Funkhouser said.
EHS wasted no time getting on the board in their half of the first; Jordan Hovey led off with a walk and was chased home by a Collin Clayton triple, and one out after that, Aaron Jackson and Matt Zielonko were brought home by a Jake Garella single and a Fahd Shakeel sacrifice fly to take a 3-0 lead.
The Cougars countered in the top of the fourth when Dylan Smith led off with a walk; a single from Noah Powless and a double from Dre Hill chased home Smith to cut the EHS lead to 3-1. The Tigers bounced right back when Joe Wallace reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second. Walks to Mitchell Krebs and Hovey brought home Wallace to restore the three-run lead, and EHS put the game on ice in the fifth when singles from Shakeel and Bailey Zimmer brought home two more runs and an error scored another run. EHS’ final two runs came in the sixth on a single and fielder’s choice.
After the Cougars were retired in the seventh, the game turned into an exhibition, with both teams clearing their benches to give as many players a chance to get into the game as possible.
Edwardsville took their record to 29-1 on the season with the win; they travel to Collinsville Tuesday afternoon seeking to close out their Southwestern Conference season with a perfect 14-0 mark, something not done since the Tigers the trick in their 1998 state championship season.
More like this: