Frustrating season comes to an end for Mehlville Senior High School boys
By STEPHEN GLOVER
For the Call
That's probably the best way to describe the 2003 season for the the Mehlville Senior High School baseball team.
"I think that overall, it was frustrating with the win-loss record," Mehlville Head Coach Jim Kern told the Call. "During the last five or six games, we played solid defense and started throwing strikes. It really gives us some promise for next year."
The Panthers (3-19, 2-12 Suburban West) season ended on Monday of last week with a 7-4 loss to Oakville in the first round of the District 3 tournament.
Mehlville jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but that would be the last time that the Panthers would hold an advantage over the Tigers as Oakville came back with two runs in the second, one in the third and four in the fourth for the win.
Mehlville starting pitcher Casey Turner went three innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits.
The senior thrower struck out three batters and walked three in the loss.
Senior Jimmy Hurst came in during the fourth inning and gave up four runs on two hits, while striking out one batter and walking two.
"Casey threw well and I think that in the three innings he threw, he threw better than his stats show," Kern said. "Jimmy had a rough fourth inning. But during the last two innings, he started to throw well."
Junior catcher Eric Tripp drove in two runs on one hit in four plate appearances. Tripp batted a solid .342 while driving in four runs and recording one home run.
"Defensively, I think that Eric is one of the better catchers in the area," Kern said. "Offensively, he did a good job for us in the last six games of the year."
While graduating eight seniors from this year's roster, the Panthers will return a core group of nine juniors and three sophomores that Kern hopes will be the beginning of a new era in Mehlville baseball.
"I think that with the kids that we will have coming back we'll be solid defensively," Kern said. "I think that we should be able to compete offensively as well."