After two losses, Tigers hammer Kirkwood

As+a+courtesy+runner+for+Oakville+catcher+Ryan+Huck+in+Saturdays+game%2C+junior+Andy+Pichler+strays+too+far+from+first+and+draws+a+throw+from+Kirkwood+starter+Alec+McNamara.+Pichler+was+back+safely+before+first+baseman+Wes+Frazier+could+make+the+tag.

As a courtesy runner for Oakville catcher Ryan Huck in Saturday’s game, junior Andy Pichler strays too far from first and draws a throw from Kirkwood starter Alec McNamara. Pichler was back safely before first baseman Wes Frazier could make the tag.

By STEPHEN GLOVER

After winning 19 of its first 20 games, the Oakville Senior High School baseball team dropped back-to-back losses to Francis Howell North and Marquette before hammering Kirkwood 12-0 in the first round of the Suburban South/West Conference tournament Saturday.

The Tigers (20-3, 6-2 Suburban West) opened last week with a 7-5 loss at Howell North May 4 when the Knights drew six walks and six hits against Oakville’s defense. On May 7, the Tigers gave up 15 hits to Marquette as the Mustangs walked away with an 11-7 victory.

“The story of the week was that we gave up too many base runners,” Oakville head coach Rich Sturm said. “The pitching staff has done a solid job, but we just can’t put up those kind of numbers.”

But when the Tigers returned to their winning ways Saturday, they did it with some authority as Oakville banged out 12 runs on 14 hits in five innings.

Starting pitcher Bryan Doyle received the win after giving up one hit. Doyle walked one batter and struck out three in his fifth win of the season. The senior hurler is 5-0 overall with a 2.18 ERA.

“Bryan had a really good start,” Sturm said. “We’ve been working on his mechanics and on Saturday he pretty much was his old self.”

Oakville’s Drew Levi had the best day at the plate, going 3-3 with a home run, four RBIs, two extra-base hits and three runs scored. Levi is batting .480 with 41 RBI.

“Statistically, Drew’s having one of the best seasons in the history of the program,” Sturm said. “He’s just having a tremendous year.”

Starting catcher Ryan Huck also had a three-hit performance as he drove in two runs and scored a total of two runs. Huck is batting .411 with 16 RBI.

“The big thing with Ryan is that he’s getting to be more consistent,” Sturm said. “He’s a kid that’s capable of driving the ball out of the park at any given time.”

Oakville returns to action Saturday in the first round of the Class 4, District 3 Tourn-ament. The Tigers’ opponent and starting time were to be determined after press time.