The Chester High School baseball season has had its share of ups and downs, both due to weather complications and performance-wise.
Several games have been canceled or postponed due to a variety of weather-related issues such as cold, wet, wind and snow. The YellowJackets have performed very well and experienced a few performance issues from time to time, perhaps due to inconsistent practice schedules, poor weather and long lapses in playing opportunities.
The Jackets were only able to play two of six games scheduled in weeks 4 and 5. Head coach Trevor Kelkhoff has been taking the uncontrollable factors in stride and hopes the YellowJackets will soon be able to maintain a consistent schedule.
Marissa 9, Chester 5
The Jackets opened the season with a 9-5 loss to nonconference Marissa Tuesday, March 15, on the road. The Jackets scored one run in the first inning and added two runs in both the fourth and fifth. Marissa, however, scored in every inning -- two in the first, one in the second and third, three in the fourth inning and two in the fifth -- to win 9-5.
In the loss the Jackets recorded 8 hits and 4 RBI's. Runners reached base twice on balls and scored five runs. CHS committed three errors that hurt their efforts. Ethan Stumpe and Dylan Kelkhoff each got two hits apiece. Gage Hasemeyer and Kaden Freytag recorded singles. Matt James (1), Kelkhoff (2) and Hasemeyer (1) had RBI's for Chester. Brendan Baughman pitched for the Jackets.
Chester 5, Carlyle 3
On Tuesday, March 29, the Jackets traveled to Carlyle and won their first Cahokia Conference game of the season, 5-3. Chester opened the first inning with two runs to set the tone. The Jackets scored another run in the top of the fourth to take a 3-0 lead, but the Indians scored in the bottom of the fourth to make it 3-1.
Chester scored two more runs in the top of the sixth to extend its lead to 5-1. Carlyle scored in both the bottom of the sixth and seventh, but it was too little, too late. CHS won 5-3.
In the win, Chester scored 5 runs on 11 hits and 4 RBI's by Stumpe, James, Hasemeyer, and Koby Jany. James and Hasemeyer had pitching duties for Chester. For the game, the YellowJackets only committed one error.
Chester 4, Okawville 3
The Jackets hosted Cahokia Conference rival Okawville Thursday, March 31, at the Cohen Recreation Complex Baseball. In the outing the Jackets scored 4 runs on 7 hits with no errors.
The game was scoreless after 3½ innings of play, but the Jackets blew the game wide open in the bottom of the fourth inning when Freytag (1), James (2), Trace Fricke (2), Hasemeyer (1) and Baughman unleashed a total of 7 hits and 4 RBI's to take a 4-0 lead.
In the end that would be all Chester would need. Okawville scored one run in the top of the sixth and two in the top of the seventh to muster just three runs. Freytag got the win for Chester as the YellowJackets improved to 2-0 in the Cahokia Conference.
Red Bud 6, Chester 0
On Tuesday, April 5, the YellowJackets traveled to Red Bud to challenge the Musketeers in the third conference game of the season.
Red Bud came out strong with three runs in the first inning and two runs in the second to take a convincing 5-0 lead.
The Musketeers added a final run in the bottom of the sixth inning to shut out the YellowJackets 6-0.
In the loss Chester could only record two hits, one by Chance Mott and the other by Marcus Murphy. Murphy also reached base on balls, but otherwise the bases were not visited the remainder of the game. In all 12 YellowJackets struck out.
Red Bud scored six runs on 5 hits and 3 RBI's. The Musketeers also had five batters reach base on walks. Seven batters struck out. The loss put Chester at 2-1 in the conference.
Wesclin 10, Chester 2
The Jackets hosted Wesclin in the fourth Cahokia Conference game of the season Thursday, April 14. This was Chester's only game of Week 5; games against Elverado, Sparta, and Nashville all had to be canceled or postponed due to foul weather.
The Wesclin Rockets rocked the Jackets to a tune of 10-2 to make Chester 2-2 in conference play.
In the loss Chester scored 2 runs on just 6 hits by Mott (1), Stumpe (1), Freytag (2), James (1) and Fricke (1). Freytag recorded the 2 RBI's for Chester. The Jackets had six batters strike out in the game and two errors. Freytag (2) and James (5) had pitching duties for Chester.
Wesclin scored 10 runs on 8 hits and 6 RBI's. The Rockets had three batters reach base on balls; seven batters were struck out by Chester's Freytag (1) and James (6). The Rockets did not commit any errors in their win.