Not even a pesky early-inning rainstorm could put a damper on the first home game of the season for the baseball team, which took on rival , Thursday afternoon at Beckemeier Field.
The Wildcats, a new and improved bunch over last year's 14-13 club, withstood the intermittent rains, and with a bit of clutch hitting, some terrific defense, and a sensational pitching performance by senior Brendan Fosdick, easily dispatched the visiting Stars for a 6-0 win.
"It was a good win for sure," said West head coach Matt McClellan. "I thought we played a pretty good game all the way around."
Especially on the mound, where Fosdick simply mowed down McCluer North, with a brilliant complete-game effort, in which he allowed no runs and just five hits, while striking out six and walking just three.
"He was on today," McClellan said. "We're counting on him. He's a senior, and we expect him to go out and have games like that.
"He's kind of the leader of our pitching staff."
And he'll probably have to be for most of the season, with injuries already having put projected underclassman starters Jordan Yakel and Shane Olmstead on the shelf for the rest of the season.
"We do have depth though," McClellan said. "Jared Fosdick (Brendan's cousin) is back and pitching well for us."
McClellan also expects to get a big season from junior Devin Williams, a talented CBC transfer, who back in February gave a verbal commitment to the University of Missouri, for whom he plans to pitch after he graduates in 2013.
"He's a good athlete," McClellan said. "He's got a lot of ability on the field, and it's good to have him.
"He's going to be a big part of our team, both on the mound and in the lineup."
On Thursday, Williams didn't pitch, but he did make a big impact on the game.
The 6-foot-3, 155-pounder reached base all three times he batted, drove in a run, stole two bases, and scored two runs.
The big hitting stars for West though, were new corner infield starters Connor Manis and Joe Gagliardi.
Manis, a junior third baseman, had two hits, an RBI, and scored a run; while Gagliardi, West's senior first baseman, had two hits and an RBI of his own.
The victory gave West a 4-2 record on the season, and gave them an early lead in the Suburban North Conference standings, where the Wildcats lead with a 2-0 mark, while McCluer North fell to 1-3 overall and 1-1 in league play.
West's biggest test of the early season will come next week though, when the Wildcats will travel to Florissant to play archrival and preseason Suburban North favorite , Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m.
Before that game though, West will play its next game on Monday, when the Wildcats will host a non-conference game against , at Beckemeier Field at 4:15 p.m.
HAZELWOOD WEST UPCOMING BASEBALL SCHEDULE
April 2 vs. Kirkwood 4:15 pm
April 3 at Hazelwood C. 4 pm
April 5 at Hazelwood E. 4 pm
April 10 vs. Riverview 4 pm
April 12 vs. Pattonville 4 pm