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Matthew Hassenbeck

Archers’ Bats Carry the Load Entering Final Week

With just one week remaining before the regional tournament, it would be fair to say the St. Louis Community College baseball team is peaking at the right time offensively.

The Archers entered Thursday as winners of five of their past six games, which includes a 21-20, 11-inning marathon at the conclusion of a four-game series at Maple Woods. In five of their past eight victories, the Archers have scored 11 or more runs.

They are led by freshman outfielder Brandon Gutzler, who leads the Archers with a .363 batting average and five home runs to help supply his team-most 36 RBI. Seventeen of his 49 hits have gone for extra bases.  Fellow freshman Jacob Walters has added a team-high eight home runs to go with 25 RBI and a .272 batting mark.

While they have been paced by a robust offense, the Archers’ recent ability to win close games also bodes well for the postseason. STLCC is 8-4 in one-run games, including a 2-1, 10-inning win over North Central last week.

On the mound, the Archers are led by sophomore righthander Matt Hassenbeck, who enters the final week of the regular season 5-1 with a 3.80 ERA, covering 47 1/3 innings of work. Freshman reliever Jacob Koelling has given head coach Scott Goodrich a reliable option out of the pen throughout this spring, compiling a 1.77 ERA  over 12 appearances, highlighted by 32 strikeouts in just 20 1/3 innings.

The Archers’ record of 24-16 assures them of their best winning percentage since STLCC moved to a districtwide athletics program in the fall of 2011.

STLCC travels to Three Rivers Community College today, before returning home for the final time in 2014 against Lake Land College on April 29. The Archers will conclude the regular season at Lewis and Clark on May 1.