2007 a roller-coaster season for Mehlville Senior High baseball team


2007 has been a roller-coaster season for the Mehlville Senior High School baseball team.

The Panthers (8-12, 3-4 Suburban West) have lost five of their last seven games, including Friday’s 12-7 defeat at home to Ritenour.

“We’ve been up and down all year and Friday wasn’t a good day,” Mehlville head coach Bob Kern said. “Our defense was shoddy and our pitching just wasn’t that great.”

Mehlville starting pitcher Jason Nikolaisen lasted just five innings and gave up nine runs as Ritenour hammered out 15 hits and three home runs in the win over Mehlville.

The senior pitcher dropped his record to 1-3 overall with an 8.78 earned-run average.

“Jason’s got good enough stuff to be more effective than that,” Kern said. “It was one of those days that when you’re up in the zone, a lot of those fly balls end up going out. He just wasn’t as particularly as sharp as he has been.”

Mehlville’s best performance at the plate came from Dan Corner, who had two hits and one walk. The junior outfielder has seen limited action at the plate this season, but Kern believes that his biggest improvement this season has been his defensive play.

“Dan came in and has done a good job,” Kern said. “He’s one of those guys that hasn’t seen many at-bats, but is always a hard worker. The biggest strides he’s made this season are defensively.”

Mehlville is back in action at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday when the Panthers play host to Suburban West Conference rival Fox. The Warriors (6-11, 0-6 Suburban West) also are struggling with a four-game losing streak that includes a 5-4 loss to Lindbergh last Friday. Mehlville and Fox met last month when the Warriors posted a 3-0 win.

Fox starting pitcher Ronnie Martin gave up just two hits and struck out six in the win over Mehlville. Martin is 2-2 this season with a 3.65 earned-run average.

“Fox is a team with a very similar record to ours and we played them earlier in the year and they beat us 3-0,” Kern said. “I think that their win over us earlier in the year will have them coming in pretty confident that they can beat us again.”