Mustangs Lose Koerper, Villanueva for Remainder of Season

Published 07/12 2013 12:24AM

Updated 07/12 2013 08:22PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) As the Mustangs begin their final stretch of the regular season, they lose a pair of regulars from the starting lineup for good.

St. Joseph manager Matt Johnson said on Thursday that the team will be without Emilio Villanueva and Kris Koerper for the rest of the season.

Villanueva left the Mustangs game against the US Military All-Stars on July 3rd in the second inning with a partially collapsed lung after getting hit by a pitch in the first. The Drury University outfielder had a tube put in at the hospital to prevent any more damage, but can't return to the field until he's fully healed.

Johnson said Villanueva can't run or lift more than ten pounds for five weeks, then he will be re-evaluated. The Nixa native will enter his junior season at Drury in 2013.

Koerper returned to his home in Texas with a torn ligament in his wrist, according to Johnson. His final game came in a 7-6 loss July 2nd at Omaha. He'll receive treatment prior to returning to school at New Mexico State in the fall.

Koerper was in the midst of his best season with St. Joseph hitting .355 with five homers and 28 RBI -- both tops on the team.

Connor Foreman and Kris' brother, Joe, will split time at first base for the rest of the season, while the Mustangs will platoon Kyle Richards and Jeremy Monty in center field in Villanueva's absence.

The Mustangs have just nine regular season games left -- five of them at Phil Welch Stadium -- but Johnson said St. Joe could add one more player to the bench to add depth during their playoff push.

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