A horde of people packed the stands at C&H Park on Tuesday to catch a glimpse of Francis Howell senior pitcher Brett Graves.
But the hearts of Vikings fans collectively skipped a beat when the hard-throwing right-hander took a comebacker off his pitching hand in the fifth inning of Howell's Gateway Athletic Conference South game against Holt.
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"I'll have to go get it checked out tomorrow, but the trainer didn't say it looked too good," said Graves, a University of Missouri recruit. "I'm just being positive about it right now. I won't jump to any conclusions. It's definitely a scare, but we'll have to see how it goes."
■ Busiek pitches Lafayette over rival Eureka, 7-1 (newsmagazinenetwork.com)
In his first two starts of this season Lafayette senior lefthander Jake Busiek had been struggling to find a groove on the mound. But on Tuesday afternoon, the hard-throwing lefty got himself rolling early and he and the host Lancers dispatched Eureka 7-1.
Busiek was virtually unhittable as he went the distance, striking out seven Wildcats hitters and allowing just three hits.
“I just kept them off balance,” Busiek said. “I tried to get ahead with my fastball and them mix in some changeups and they worked pretty well.”
Getting just his third start of the season, Busiek was eager to erase a pair of forgettable starts that left him saddled with an 11.20 ERA and he looked comfortable and in control from the start of the afternoon.
“It felt good to be able to go out and throw strikes and get ahead of the hitters,” Busiek said. “It was my third start, so I wanted go out and hopefully find a groove and I think today was a good day.”
■ Francis Howell wins with offensive approach (stltoday.com)
Howell, the No. 1 team in the most recent STLhighschoolsports large school baseball rankings, scored in every inning but one in just about every way possible in its 8-5 win over Fort Zumwalt West.
"This felt good," Howell senior outfielder Jake Ivory said. "Top to bottom in our lineup, I feel like everyone can come up big in any situation. Everyone can do the job."
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For Ivory, the home run was sweet. It was a part of a day in which he went 2 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored.
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Ivory managed to close the game out, though, as he struck out Tony Baker to end the game.
Though he threw well, Ivory chose to credit the Vikings' starter for being the key to the win.