Tigers hope to finish on a strong note
By STEPHEN GLOVER
For the Call
As they struggle to keep their record at the .500 mark, members of the Oakville Senior High School baseball team hope they can finish off the season on a strong note.
The Tigers (8-9, 4-2 Suburban South) en-dured a rough week last week as they competed in the Suburban South Tournament.
The Oakville Tigers received some strong pitching performances from junior Christ Panopoulos and sophomore Andy Marks, but it was their lack of offensive power that led to two losses and an early exit from the conference tourney.
The Tigers opened the tournament against a solid Eureka squad that they had handed a 4-3 loss late last month. But the Wildcats quickly turned the tables in their second meeting as Oakville suffered a 4-3 setback.
"It was one of those games where we couldn't get the two-out hit," Oakville Head Coach Rick Seim told the Call. "We couldn't get anything going after the first two innings."
An alarming note for the Tigers in their game against Eureka was the fact that Oakville batters struck out eight times against Wildcat starting pitcher Tim Clubb.
"We're just not hitting the way we should be hitting," Seim said. "We're just striking out way too much right now."
Panopoulos was the starting pitcher for Oakville and went a strong 5 1/3 innings, giving up just four earned runs on three hits. The junior hurler did walk four batters, while striking out zero.
"Chris pitched really well for us," Seim said. "I thought that he did an outstanding job and threw well enough to win."
The Tigers' scoring woes continued against Rockwood Summit despite cranking out nine hits in a 4-1 loss to the Fal-cons.
"It was a game where we again didn't take advantage our chances offensively," Seim said. "We couldn't come up with a hit when we really needed it."
Marks threw a complete game of seven innings for the Tigers, giving up just two earned runs on nine hits.
He struck out six batters and walked just two in the losing effort. Despite the loss, Seim was quick to designate the sophomore as his No. 1 starting pitcher.
"Andy had good enough stuff to earn a victor against Summit," Seim said. "He's risen to become our No. 1 pitcher this season."
The Tigers will get the chance to avenge their loss to the Falcons this Friday afternoon as they play host to Summit in their final home game of the season.
"If we win our last two conference games, we could finish with a record of 6-2 in the conference," Seim said. "We would like to finish on a strong note because districts start next week."
The Tigers' contest against Summit is scheduled for a 4:15 p.m. start.