Metro Minute


By Bob Totterer
Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Wednesday, July 29th - at 6:00 AM sharp, a Cavallo Bus Lines charter swung out of the parking lot at Vianney High School and onto Lindbergh Boulevard. On board were the players and coaches of the St. Louis Metro Collegiate Dodgers, enroute to Toledo, Ohio and the 2015 NABF College World Series. You may recall that these Dodgers brought a World Series winner home in 2013 and, though well-positioned to repeat in 2014, an untimely water emergency in the city of Toledo resulted in the tournament being cancelled the morning of the quarter finals.

Well, the water looks just fine and so does the weather forecast. So is this a year of destiny? Just how good is the 2015 version of the Dodgers? We'll find out soon enough against the likes of the Long Island Gamecocks, the Michigan Rams, the Oil City Stags and a host of other college summer teams, each of which won a qualifying tournament or a competitive league such as ours to earn a berth in the NABF World Series.

Pool play begins on Thursday, as the Dodgers square off against the Long Island Gamecocks in a contest at high noon, followed at 3:00 PM with a game versus the Creekside Crocodiles. Play within that bracket will conclude on Friday with a 9:00 AM game against the Toledo Hawks. Both the quarterfinal and semi-final brackets are scheduled to play on Saturday, with the Championship game slated for 11:00 AM, Sunday. If they make it to the Championship, the boys in blue will have played six games in four days. In the height of the summer, that's a grueling course to follow.

Read more: TOLEDO-BOUND!

League MVP, Justin Busekrus, Leads American Team to All-Star Game Victory

By: Sophie Ozier

During the first two innings of the Metro Collegiate All-Star Game, Justin Busekrus showed everyone why he was named Most Valuable Player for the 2015 season.

Busekrus (Trojans) got things started for the Metro Collegiate American team, hitting a hard liner up the middle for a base hit. He was later moved into scoring position on a single from Matt Brown (Bandits) and both came around to score on a double from second baseman Dan Mannion (Bandits).

The score remained 2-0 in the American Team’s favor until Busekrus came up again in the second inning. With two runners on and two outs, Busekrus sent a pitch high over the centerfield wall, extending the teams lead to 5-0.

Read more: League MVP, Justin Busekrus, Leads American Team to All-Star Game Victory

Justin Busekrus: Metro Player of the Week

By: Sophie Ozier

After leading the Metro Collegiate Trojans to a 10-game winning streak, centerfielder, Justin Busekrus has been named Metro Player of the Week.

“Basically he got hot and we won 10 in a row,” said Trojans head coach, Garrett Bauer. “We lost yesterday (Wednesday) and he went 0-4, so that kind of shows you how big of a role he’s played on our team.”

In the second week of play for the Trojans, Busekrus went 10-13, with two home-runs and 10 RBIs. He continued his success the next week, hitting .481 (13-27) with one homer and 11 RBIs. Busekrus has the second highest batting average in the league (.463) and leads the league with 25 RBIs.

Read more: Justin Busekrus: Metro Player of the Week

Metro Collegiate Baseball attends PGA Reach Fund Raiser Dinner

On Sunday, June 28th a contingent from St. Louis Metro Collegiate Baseball attended the Gateway Section of PGA Reach Dinner Auction.   The event was hosted by Gateway Section President and Honorary Metro Collegiate Chairman and great friend, Ozzie Smith.

Read more: Metro Collegiate Baseball attends PGA Reach Fund Raiser Dinner

Four More Metro League Alumni drafted last week in MLB Amateur Draft

By Sophie Ozier

As the 2015 MLB Player Draft concluded, four additional Metro League Alums were taken in the MLB amateur draft.   Geoff Hartlieb, Orlando Oliveria, Matt Meier and Josh Lester all played for St. Louis Metro Collegiate teams during the 2013 season. Tate Matheny was selected on day one of the draft, so this brings the total to 5 in 2015.   “We fully expect a few more of our guys to sign as free agents, so all in all, we’re very pleased with the 2015 Draft class from Metro Collegiate Baseball,” said Marty Stein, League President.

Read more: Four More Metro League Alumni drafted last week in MLB Amateur Draft

Branneky Earns SLIAC Player of the Year

By Sophie Ozier

Tyler Branneky, a junior from Westminster College and four-year Metro Collegiate Player, was named the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) Baseball Player of the Year for 2015.

“I was really excited about it. I hadn’t really thought I was going to get it, so I was pretty surprised,” said Branneky upon hearing about the award. “I think this was just a confirmation that what I’ve been doing is working.”

Branneky led the Westminster Blue Jays with a .413 batting average and broke the school’s RBI single-season record with 45. He also tied the school’s career triple record with eight, six of which came during the 2015 season. Westminster finished the year with a 24-12 record, going 16-6 in SLIAC conference play.

Read more: Branneky Earns SLIAC Player of the Year

Bilbrey, Estes Join Metro League to Coach Green Sox

By Sophie Ozier

For the past two summers, C.J. Bilbrey served as the head coach for the Explorers, which played in another college-age league.  There he led his team to an overall 47-22 record, winning the league championship in 2013.

This season Bilbrey has joined forces with Harris-Stowe State University colleague (and Metro Alumnus) Dave Estes, to serve as co-coaches for the Metro Collegiate Green Sox.  Although the two didn’t start coaching together until 2014, they played together on Harris-Stowe’s team for two seasons. Estes has just concluded his seventh season as the head coach and Bilbrey his second season as assistant coach for the Hornets, prior to making their coaching debut with the Metro League on June 1.

“The wooden bats are a huge difference in this league.  There’s absolutely no question that a wood bat is the real tool of the hitting game.  College players who use wooden bats during the summer months really step up their game."    Is it harder to hit with a wooden bat?   "Oh, you bet!    That's why so many “rec” players and leagues stay with metal.  They think it gives them an edge when it's actually holding them back."

Read more: Bilbrey, Estes Join Metro League to Coach Green Sox

Matheny Drafted by Red Sox

Matheny Drafted by Red Sox

By: Sophie Ozier

St. Louis Metro Collegiate League alum, Tate Matheny was selected by the Boston Red Sox in the fourth round (111th overall) of the 2015 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

Matheny joined the Metro Collegiate Knights during the 2012 season following his senior year at Westminster Christian Academy.  The Knights were coached that summer by two former MLB players, Lonnie Maclin and Kenny Reitz. The outfielder finished the season with a .423 average (11-26) and later went on to Missouri State University.   There he was voted MSU's Team MVP and Freshman All-American by Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball. Matheny was named All-Missouri Valley Conference all three seasons with the Bears and was First-Team All-MVC the last two.

“He’s close to a five tool player. He’s got good speed, good arm, good power…he’s got it all,” said former Knights coach and Major Leaguer Lonnie Maclin.

Matheny is the son of St. Louis Cardinal’s Manager, Mike Matheny. Mike Matheny played Major League Baseball for 13 seasons (five with the Cardinals) before becoming the Cardinals Manager in 2012.

“He knows what to do and he knows how to work hard” says Maclin, a trait he credits Mike Matheny instilled in him. “He has all the tools and all the skills to play in the major leagues.”

2014 Championship Series - Game 5 - July 24, 2014

Championship Series

The St. Louis Metro League Bandits and Dodgers Represented The Metro League Proudly in the 2014 NABF World Series

 2014 Bandits 2014 Dodgers