May 20, 2022 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

SJO baseball off to superb start

High-scoring wins. Dominant pitching performances. Balanced hitting up and down the lineup.


These are just some of the staples the St. Joseph-Ogden High School baseball team has shown through the first three weeks of the 2022 season.


The Spartans carry an 8-2 record, including a 1-1 mark in Illini Prairie Conference play, heading into Thursday’s 4:30 p.m. Illini Prairie game at Rantoul. SJO will look to avoid its first losing streak of the season after a 14-10 home loss on Monday to Bloomington Central Catholic in Illini Prairie action.


But the first third of SJO’s season has featured far more highlights than lowlights. Here’s a recap of what has transpired so far:

April 4
Bloomington Central Catholic 14, SJO 10
The Spartans faced an early 10-0 deficit by the time the bottom of the second inning arrived. SJO answered with an emphatic 10 runs in that frame to tie the game at 10, but that was all the offense the Spartans could muster as the Saints took an 11-10 lead after three innings and sealed the win in St. Joseph with three more runs in the fifth.


Taylor Voorhees paced the offensive display by going 2 for 3 with five RBI that included a double and a triple. Griffin Roesch (2 for 3, RBI) and Coby Miller (1 for 3, two RBI) also chipped in offensively.


Roesch sustained the loss on the mound, giving up four runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked one.


Roesch was one of four pitchers the Spartans used on the day, with Adam Price starting and only lasting one-third of an inning, giving up eight runs (all unearned) on five hits to go with one strikeout and one walk.


Avian Gerdes (two-thirds on an inning, two runs on four hits) and Connor Hale (1 1/3 innings, two hits, two walks, one strikeout) also saw time on the mound.

April 2
SJO 15, Lisle 0
The Spartans opened up a 9-0 lead after one inning and made it 14-0 through two innings of a non conference home win that lasted four innings.


SJO took advantage of five errors committed by Lisle, but Price and Tyler Altenbaumer both led the offensive display. Price went 3 for 3, including a double, with four RBI. Altenbaumer also went 3 for 3 with two RBI and two runs scored.


Roesch (2 for 3, two RBI, triple), Miller (2 for 4, two RBI) and Luke Landrus (1 for 3, RBI, two runs scored) also contributed.


The strong offensive backing was more than enough for Hayden Brazelton on the mound. Brazelton there all four innings, only giving up two hits, and striking out 11 to earn the shutout win.

SJO 12, Teutopolis 2
The Spartans broke open a 2-2 tie with six runs in the bottom of the third inning and didn’t let up during a home non conference win against the Wooden Shoes.
Every member of SJO’s lineup got at least one hit in the impressive five-inning win that featured a superb pitching performance from Altenbaumer.


Altenbaumer went all five innings, giving up five hits and striking out 10.
Price went 2 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Brazelton was 1 for 1 with two RBI and two stolen bases and reached base three times. Roesch (1 for 1, two RBI, three runs scored, three walks), Voorhees (1 for 2, two runs scored, RBI), Miller (1 for 2, RBI), Landrus (1 for 3, two RBI) and Hale (1 for 4, two RBI) also had timely hits.

April 1
SJO 9, St. Thomas More 0
A big fourth inning broke open the game in favor of the Spartans, who cruised to a home win in their Illini Prairie opener.


SJO led 2-0 after three innings before plating seven runs in the bottom of the fourth — highlighted by a two-run single from Andrew Beyers — to keep the Sabers at bay.


Caleb Ochs and Gerdes combined on a three-hit shutout, with Ochs starting and lasting five innings. He only allowed two hits and struck out two. Gerdes finished up the game with two shutout innings of relief, giving up one hit and striking out one.


Beyers reached base in all three of his plate appearances, getting on via a walk and hit by pitch outside of his single, and was a force on the basepaths with three stolen bases.


Voorheen went 2 for 3 with an RBI and two runs scored, while Landrus was 2 for 4, including a double. Brazelton was 1 for 2 with an RBI, while Price and Roesch also drove in runs.

March 28
SJO 13, Salt Fork 2
The Spartans only led Salt Fork 3-2 entering the bottom of the fourth inning.
Then, the home nonconference game ended an inning later with a win for SJO thanks to a 10-run fourth inning that was sparked by two-run singles from both Brazelton, Price and Miller.


Brazelton finished 2 for 4 with three RBI, all of which came in the fourth, and two runs scored. Price wound up with three RBI and scored two runs, while Beyers had two RBI and two runs scored.


Altenbaumber (1 for 3), Roesch (1 for 3), Hale (1 for 1) and Braxton Waller (1 for 1) also added a single RBI.


Price recorded the win on the mound, throwing four innings and only allowing one hit. He struck out eight and both runs he allowed were unearned. Brazelton recorded all three of his outs on strikeouts in his one inning of relief.

March 25
SJO 9, BHRA 2
The Spartans never trailed en route to a home nonconference win, taking a 3-0 lead after two innings and breaking the game open with a five-run fourth inning.


Roesch led the way by going 3 for 4 with three RBI, while Hale was effective at the plate, too, going 2 for 2 with two RBI.


Landrus (1 for 3, two RBI), Miller (1 for 3, RBI) and Voorhees (0 for 2, two runs scored, RBI) were also instrumental in the batter’s box.


Altenbaumber lasted 4 1/3 innings to pick up the win, allowing four hits and two unearned runs while striking out nine.


Ochs pitched the final 2 2/3 shutout innings, only giving up one hit and striking out two.

March 18
Coal City 10, SJO 6
The Spartans suffered their first loss of the season during their final game at the PBR Metro East Kickoff Classic.


Coal City led 2-0 after one inning, but SJO rallied with four runs in the third to take a 4-2 lead before the Coalers tied the game at 4 in the bottom of the third.


A five-run fifth inning by Coal City put SJO in a 9-4 deficit the Spartans couldn’t claw back from.


Price paced the offense by going 2 for 4 with three RBI, while Landrus (1 for 3, RBI), Beyers (1 for 4, RBI), Altenbaumer (2 for 3, two runs scored) and Brazelton (1 for 3, two runs scored) also contributed.


Jack Robertson started on the mound for SJO, throwing 3 2/3 innings and giving up four runs (three earned0 on six hits. He struck out two and walked two.


Kendrick Johnson took the loss in relief, giving up four runs (two earned) on four hits in one inning of work.


Coy Taylor (one-third of an inning, one unearned run on one hit) and Roesch (one inning, one run on one hit, one strikeout) also pitched for the Spartans.

March 17
SJO 14, Belleville Althoff 11
SJO concluded its first day at the PBR Metro East Kickoff Classic by holding off the Crusaders in a high-scoring game.


The Spartans never trailed and used big innings of five runs in the second, three runs in the third and three more in the seventh to secure the win.
Hayden Brazelton once again led the way at the plate as he went 4 for 5 with a double, a triple, four runs scored and one RBI. Coby Miller also contributed by going 2 for 3 with three RBI and walking twice, while Adam Price was 2 for 5 with two RBI. Tyler Altenbaumer (1 for 4, three RBI), Connor Hale (1 for 3, two RBI) and Griffin Roesch (1 for 3, two runs scored, one RBI) were also instrumental in the win.


Hale earned the win in relief, throwing 2 1/3 innings and giving up three runs on four hits while striking out three and walking three.

SJO 6, Father McGivney 1
SJO opened up its stay at the PBR Metro East Kickoff Classic with an impressive win against the defending Class 1A state runner-up.
The Spartans never trailed, opening up a 2-0 lead after one inning, a 4-0 lead after two innings, a 5-0 lead after three innings and a 6-0 lead after four innings.


Altenbaumer was nearly unhittable in his season debut on the mound, throwing five innings and only giving up one hit. He struck out seven and walked two before Brazelton finished off the game with two innings of relief. Brazelton gave up a run on two hits and walked one, but struck out four.


Brazelton was key at the plate for SJO as he went 3 for 4 with one RBI and two runs scored. Roesch added two hits and scored a run, while Altenbaumer, Price, Coby Miller and Andrew Beyers also drove in one run apiece.

March 15
SJO 14, Armstrong-Potomac 2
The Spartans displayed a strong offensive showing during their season-opening win against the Trojans in a six-inning nonconference game in Potomac.


Price led the way, going 5 for 5 with five RBI that included two doubles as SJO led 3-0 after two innings and increased its lead to 8-1 after three innings. The Spartans rounded out the scoring with two runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth.


Roesch also had a solid afternoon at the plate, going 2 for 4 with a triple, four RBI and two runs scored. Brazelton was a spark plug out of the leadoff spot, reaching base four times and going 1 for 2 with three RBI and three runs scored. He also stole two bases.


This was more than enough offense for Avian Gerdes. Gerdes started and went five innings, giving up five hits and one run while striking out two and only walking one.

After Thursday’s game at Rantoul, the Spartans are set to get back in action on Saturday as one of three teams playing in Williamsville, with Tremont also part of the day’s worth of games that are set for a 10 a.m. start. Once Saturday wraps up, SJO is set to travel to Stanford for a 4:30 p.m. Illini Prairie game next Monday at Olympia.

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