No matter how you slice or dice it, the Mehlville Senior High School boys' baseball team knows how to win when the going gets tough.
That was never more apparent than last weekend as the Panthers (13-13, 7-7 Suburban West) handed the Dragons of St. Mary's a 1-0 defeat in the first round of the District No. 3 tournament at Vianney High School.
"It was a hard fought game," Mehlville head coach Jim Kern told the Call of the May 15 contest. "I thought that both pitchers threw well and it wasn't until the seventh inning that we hit the ball well."
Mehlville starting pitcher Jake Morgan was outstanding on the mound as he struck-out six and gave up just three hits in seven innings pitched.
The junior hurler is currently 4-1 with a 2.14 earned-run average.
"When he's (Morgan) on the mound, we have a chance to win against anybody," Kern explained.
"He mixed up his pitches and really kept them (St. Mary's) off balance.
"It was a very similar performance to his first game against Lindbergh."
Junior shortstop Steve Braun drove in the game-winning run as he went 1-2 at the plate with a walk. Braun is currently batting .237 with 4 RBI this season.
"It was another one of those clutch hits that have won us games," Kern said.
"Steve is one of the people that we would want up at the plate in that kind of situation. I also think that defensively he played a very solid game."
The Panthers were scheduled to square off against the Lindbergh Flyers in the semifinal game of the district tournament at Vianney High School.
The Panthers have faced the Flyers twice this season and came away with an 8-3 win April 19 and a 6-1 setback against Lindbergh on May 5.
"They (Lindbergh) hit the ball better than any team we've played this year," Kern said.
"We'll need to hit the ball better than we did Saturday. I think that if we're more aggressive at the plate and play sound defense, we'll have a good chance."
The District No. 3 tournament championship game was scheduled for a 4:15 p.m. start Wednesday.