Although the Crestwood American Legion baseball team has been enjoying a four-game winning streak, the club received some heartbreaking news when center fielder Chris Luebbert was seriously injured in an automobile accident.
Luebbert’s injuries appear to have him sidelined for the rest of the 2005 season.
“I think it’s going to be a big loss for us,” Crestwood head coach Sean Erwin told the Call. “He brings a lot of intensity to the game for us.”
Luebbert was carrying a .289 batting average, driving in six runs.
The starting center fielder also has five stolen bases with a .500 on-base percentage.
Erwin noted that Luebbert was beginning to swing a hot bat in the last couple of games as he went 4-6 with one triple, two walks, a stolen base and three runs scored.
“Chris just started hitting the ball,” Erwin said. “I think it (Luebbert’s auto accident) is rallying the guys for the District 10 Tournament in that they’re trying to do this for him.”
Crestwood (9-10, 5-4 District 10) has outscored its opponents 32-14 in its last four games and will face Creve Coeur tonight — July 7 — at Parkway North Senior High School.
Starting pitcher Andrew Keltner is scheduled to start against Creve Coeur after holding Manchester last week to just two runs on seven hits in an 8-2 win for Post 777.
Keltner is 2-2 overall with a 3.46 earned run average and leads Crestwood with 19 strikeouts this season.
“Andrew kind of had a rough start to the season,” Erwin said. “He’s had two great outings for us lately in that he beat Maryland Heights 13-2 and then comes back and beats Manchester 8-2.
“The guys have a lot of confidence in him when he’s on the mound,” the coach added.
Three other team members Erwin noted for their play in last week were shortstop Mike Croghan, right fielder Jon Moran and catcher Nick Bender.
Croghan is batting a solid .370 with four doubles and two home runs. He also has 10 runs batting in this season.
“Mike’s a guy that’s really been hitting the ball for us,” Erwin said. “I would put him as one of the best shortstops in the area right now.”
Moran also has been swinging a hot stick with a .429 average that includes six doubles and 21 runs batted in.
“Jon’s another guy that’s really been hitting the ball for us this year,” Erwin said. “He’s been doing a great job in our lineup.”
The big surprise of the season for Crestwood is Bender, who boasts a .357 batting average with three doubles, one triple and one home run along with 20 runs batted in.
“Nick’s been a big surprise for us,” Erwin said. “He’s done a really good job at the plate for us and is one of those guys if you need a big hit or a big play, he’s the kind of guy to step it up for you.”
Crestwood’s game against Creve Coeur is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. start.