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St. Matthew’s takes top seed into tournament

PRINCETON — St. Matthew’s took the top seed into the Princeton Fastpitch Church League Tournament which got underway Monday night.

St. Matthew’s will take an 8-1 record into tournament play Friday at Westside Park, awaiting the winner of Monday’s game between No. 4 Princeton Bible Church and No. 5 United Methodist. St. Matthew’s has won three straight season championships (11 overall) and looks for its second league/tournament title in three years. It has won six league titles dating back through 1980.

Bunker Hill (6-4) secured the No. 2 seed, splitting a Friday doubleheader following a loss to Methodist with a win over Princeton Bible, plus a forfeit win over People Church on Saturday.

Bible bounced back from a 10-0 shutout at the hands of Bunker Hill’s Adam Gutshall to gain a Friday doubleheader split for the second week in a row, defeating St. Matthew’s 21-5. Garey Driscoll, Mitch McCoy and Chris Fields all had inside-the-park homers for Bible. It was St. Matt’s first loss of the season.

No. 6 St. Louis/Covenant had a say in the final tournament seeds, knocking off Bureau Township 18-13 in nine innings Saturday night behind pitchers Brik Wedekind and Justin Smith.

The loss by Bureau Township created a 3-way tie for the No. 3 seed between BT, Bible and Methodist, who all finished 5-4. BT gained the tiebreaker with a 2-1 record in head to head play with Bible going 2-2 and Methodist 1-2.

Methodist is the defending league champion, defeating St. Matthew’s a year ago.

Church bulletin: St. Matthew’s has won nine season titles outright with two shares since 1980. ... Bible’s Rob Jensen pitched both ends of a Friday doubleheader for the second week in a row. He has hurled 37 innings in an eight-day stretch, including 23 innings over a 24-hour stint last week. ... The league tournament got underway a week earlier this year than norm, with the champion scheduled to be crowned Aug. 9.

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