While rain the past few days may not have been welcomed by area baseball teams, it's given the Perryville Pirates an opportunity to savor their biggest win of the season.
The Pirates' fourth win of the season came Tuesday and created quite a thud. The victim was Festus, the No. 2 ranked team in Class 3A, which came into the Jefferson County Conference Tournament game with a sparkling 19-1 record.
Playing its first game in the round-robin format, Perryville -- now 4-10 -- avenged an earlier loss to Festus by dealing the Tigers a 7-5 loss. The Pirates' next two tournament games against Hillsboro and De Soto were rained out.
"It seemed like everything clicked for us and things went our way," Perryville coach Dennis Glueck said.
Glueck may have gotten a bit of an omen in a conversation with Festus coach Don Buechting before the game.
"He said some of their kids might be a little too overconfident," Glueck recalled. "I told him sometimes if you lose a game they come back down to earth."
Perryville went on to impart a lesson, beginning with five runs in the first inning.
Starting pitcher Nathan Laurentius, a junior, picked up his first win, thanks to stellar relief work from senior right-hander John Miesner. Festus had 10 hits, but Miesner allowed just one in the final two innings, striking out four.
The save was the second for Miesner since returning from ACL surgery, performed in January. Miesner, the Pirates' top pitcher back from last year, injured his knee in a basketball game before Christmas.
"I think having him back, our pitching staff has a little more confidence and our defense has more confidence," Glueck said. "It's big getting him back."
Miesner has struck out nine batters in four innings of relief.
"He's shutting people down," Glueck said.
Previously, Perryville had been getting ahead of teams, but faltering in the later innings due to a lack of pitching depth.
"It seems like we're starting to play better baseball at the end of season and I hope it carries into district," Glueck said.
ND's Vickery signs
Courtney Vickery became the third senior off Notre Dame's Class 2A state championship team to sign a letter of intent to play college basketball.
Vickery, a point guard, signed Wednesday to play at Rend Lake College in Ina, Ill. She was a four-year starter for Notre Dame and is the school's all-time leader in assists with 313. Vickery averaged 5.6 points and nearly three assists in her senior season.
Rend Lake, a junior college, competes in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference.
Notre Dame, which established a school record for wins in going 29-2, also had Lisa Millham sign with Central Missouri State University and Deana McCormick sign with Quincy University.
Notre Dame is No. 1 seed
Notre Dame captured the top seed in the Class 2A, District 2 baseball tournament, which begins Monday, May 13. The Bulldogs will play Crystal City in the opening round.
Defending district champion Chaffee is the No. 2 seed, followed by Kelly, Scott City, Woodland, Charleston, Grandview and Crystal City.
The biggest loss
Condolences to Dexter baseball coach Brian Becker, who lost his wife, Kristy, in an automobile accident this past weekend. This is undoubtedly a difficult time for the entire community and the Bearcats, playing this weekend in the SEMO Conference Baseball Tournament in Cape Girardeau.
Kristy, 31, taught at T.S. Hill Middle School in Dexter.
Jeff Breer is a sports writer for the Southeast Missourian.