St. Clair is Bombers’ big bopper

Jul. 17—Dan St. Clair missed his entire junior season of high school baseball at Apollo due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, but he’s more than made up for it in 2021.

The 6-foot-4, 245-pound first baseman has enjoyed a stellar season with the red-hot Owensboro Post 9 Bombers American Legion baseball team this summer, following a superb senior season on the diamond at Apollo.

And, he’s hoping to help propel the Bombers to a championship when they compete in next week’s American Legion State Tournament at Mayfield.

“It’s been a great season for us — it’s been a blast staying busy and playing baseball with this team,” said St. Clair, who entered the week leading the team with 30 RBIs, an on-base percentage of .604, a slugging percentage of .754 and five home runs. “I knew pretty early on that we were going to be able to put together a pretty strong team.

“I’ve been able to contribute to the team quite a bit with my hitting. I’ve been able to come up with some big hits for our team, but it’s not just me. The whole team has done that all season long.

“I feel like I’ve been pretty solid defensively, as well. I’ve played a lot of first base, but I’ve also played some third base, which has been different and fun for me — I haven’t played much third base since Little League.”

Bombers manager Matt Freeman, meanwhile, has raved about St. Clair’s performance throughout the summer.

“Dan has been superb for us, and most of all he’s been a great leader,” Freeman said. “He was a late addition to our team and what a tremendous asset he has been, at the plate and in the field.

“Down the line, Dan will be successful in whatever profession he chooses.”

In the spring, St. Clair was exceptional as Apollo’s everyday first baseman, batting .341 with team-highs of six home runs and 33 runs batted in — helping coach Mason Head’s Eagles go 23-10.

“At the start of the season I was a little rusty, coming right out of basketball,” said St. Clair, a three-year starter for Apollo on the hardwood. “Once I got in my baseball routine, though, everything started falling into place for me. I began to hit the ball pretty well, and my confidence just carried me on from there.”

It’s been a busy summer in other ways for St. Clair, who has also had a full-time summer job in the maintenance department with Heinz Precision Inc. (metal stamping). This fall, he will be enrolled as an engineering student at Western Kentucky University, where he plans to try out for the Hilltoppers’ baseball team.

For now, however, St. Clair is focused on helping make the Bombers be the very best they can be.

“I’m looking forward to the state tournament,” he said. “We just need to work on our base-running a little bit and come out of the gate hot. Sometimes it takes us a couple of innings to get the spark going, and at state, it’s going to be to our advantage if we come out hot from the beginning and never let up.”

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