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Oakville scores seven home runs during two-game stretch last week

Members of the Oakville Senior High School baseball team had an excellent opportunity last week to hit a home run.

Of the Tigers' 17 home-run shots this season, seven came from a two-game stretch last week.

Hopefully the Tigers' hit parade continues this week as they compete in the Suburban South Conference tournament, which is being played at the Ballwin Athletic Association fields in Ballwin.

"It's going to be a big week for us," Oakville head coach Rich Sturm told the Call.

"We have a good chance in winning the conference tournament this week."

The Tigers were scheduled Monday — after the Call went to Press — to have faced Northwest-House Springs for the second time in seven days.

Sturm hopes that his Tigers have better success against the Lions after losing to them 8-5 last week.

"The winds were blowing straight out to left field and their hitters did a nice job of putting the bat on the ball," Sturm explained.

"They were doing what needed to be done to win."

The Panthers received four home-run blasts from juniors Andy Marks, Justin Fujarski and Tyler Hessel.

Fujarski was a solid 2-3 at the plate with one home run, one walk and two runs batted in. He's currently batting .327 with eight RBI and a team-leading 17 runs this season.

"Justin's having a good year for us in the leadoff spot," Sturm said. "He's done a great job of getting on base and scoring a lot of runs for us."

Marks' lone hit of the game was a two-run shot that just happened to be his second home run of the 2004 season.

He currently leads the Tigers with a .500 batting average and 12 RBI.

"He (Marks) makes contact and hits the ball hard," Sturm explained. "He's really a difficult hitter for high school pitchers to pitch to."

Hessel, who received his first start this year for the Tigers, made the most of his opportunity with a solo shot that happened to be his first of the season.

"Tyler got the start against Northwest and got a solo home run to tie the game up for us," Sturm said.

"He's a hard worker and we couldn't have been happier for him to hit that home run."

Tiger's starting pitcher Matt Pressler last six innings as he gave up six earned runs in six innings pitched.

Pressler struck-out five and walked one in the loss as he brought his record to 1-1 overall with a 4.20 earned run average.

Oakville vented its frustrations April 28 with a 19-1 thrashing of Webster Groves.

"Webster Groves has a much better team than what we saw that day," Sturm said. "We were upset after the Northwest loss and this showed us what we're capable of doing."

The Tigers received home-run blasts from Marks along with juniors Tim Andrew and Brian Randolph along with sophomore Casey Jones.

Marks was 4-5 at the plate with three RBI and one stolen base while Andrew went 2-4 with four RBI and one stolen base.

Randolph went 1-2 at the plate with three RBI while Jones recorded a 2-4 performance with four RBI.

Oakville starting pitcher Eric Brewer threw a solid three innings pitched with one hit and three strikeouts. Brewer is currently 2-2 with a 4.90 ERA.

"Eric had a really nice start for us," Sturm said.

"He's had two tremendous starts in his last two outings and when his confidence level is high, you had better look out."

Should the Tigers advance to the championship game of the conference tournament, they will play at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 5, at the Ballwin Athletic Association complex in Ballwin.

The Tigers will play Pattonville at 5 p.m. and Kirkwood at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 8, in makeup games from the Ballwin Athletic Association Tournament.

The Ballwin tournament was rained out last weekend.

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