Panthers drop four straight, rebound with 15-1 pounding of Timberland
April 13, 2005 - After winning five straight to open the 2005 baseball season, Mehlville Senior High suffered a four-game losing streak.
"We got off to a good start and then hit a bad stretch where we lost four in a row," Mehlville head coach Jim Kern told the Call.
"It was a combination of us not playing well and running into some bad luck," he said.
Mehlville eventually turned their luck around in a big way.
The Panthers (5-4) rebounded from the losing streak, including a 9-3 loss to DeSmet in the semifinal of the McCluer Senior High Classic, with a 15-1 pounding of Timberland in the consolation championship.
"I think that they (Timberland) were coming off an extra inning loss to Alton and didn't have much of a break between games," Kern said.
"We came out hitting the ball well and got four runs in the first," he said. "The big inning was the fourth, where we had eight runs."
Mehlville starting pitcher Kevin Mahler threw a complete game, allowing just one run while striking out three and walking four. The win was the sophomore hurler's first of the 2005 campaign.
"Kevin threw the ball extremely well," Kern said. "His curve ball was working really well for him against Timberland."
Panther third baseman Josh Ruble had a hot day at the plate, batting 3-4, scoring three runs, driving in one run and stealing two bases.
Ruble is batting a solid .333 with three runs batted in and three stolen bases.
"He is on fire right now," Kern said "Josh went 3-4 and ended up getting a hit on a hit-and-run. It seems like every ball he hits, he ends up hitting it hard."
Up next for the Panthers is a tough non-conference road game at 4:15 p.m. today — Thursday, April, 14 — against the Junior Billikens of Saint Louis University High School.
The Junior Billikens have a 4-2 record and feature the pitching and hitting of junior Ryan Morgan.
Morgan is 2-0 on the hill this year. At the plate, he's batting .375 one homerun, three triples, eight runs batted in and six runs scored.
"Year in and year out, SLUH is a great team," Kern said.
"We're going to throw Mahler again and if he can keep them off balance, I think we can make the plays behind him," he said.