Baseball Flyers soar over Mehlville 11-1

By STEPHEN GLOVER

When the Mehlville and Lindbergh high school baseball teams battled each other last week in Suburban West Conference action, the game featured two squads that seemed to be heading in opposite directions.

Lindbergh (7-6, 2-2 Suburban West) wasted very little time in putting Mehlville (2-10, 1-3 Suburban West) in a pressure-cooker situation April 16 as the Flyers hammered out five runs in the first three innings. Lindbergh finished off the Panthers in the top of the fifth inning with a six-run outburst en route to an 11-1 victory.

“We got back above .500, which was our goal this past week,” Lindbergh head coach Darin Scott told the Call. “We were fortunate enough to score a lot of runs and find a way to win.”

The loss marked another frustrating afternoon for Mehlville head coach Bob Kern as the Panthers committed a total of five errors.

“We didn’t play well,” Kern said. “It’s frustrating not only for myself, but also for the kids.”

Lindbergh starting pitcher Andy Flett was stellar on the hill as he gave up just one run on four hits in five innings. Flett walked just one batter and struck out six for his second win of the season. The junior starting pitcher is 2-2 overall with a 3.25 ERA.

“Andy threw great in that game,” Scott said. “He kept Mehlville’s hitters off balance with his breaking ball and was really popping them with his fastball. He really kept on top of his hitters at all times.”

Mehlville’s Ethan Stenger was charged with the loss as he gave up 11 runs on 14 hits in five innings. Stenger walked four batters and struck out three batters in his fourth loss of the season. The senior hurler is 1-4 overall with a 9.00 ERA.

“It wasn’t Ethan’s best showing, but in his defense, he was on short rest and found out that he was making that start around 2 p.m.,” Kern said. “He’s really having trouble locating his pitches down in the zone.”

Lindbergh designated hitter Garth Sherman may have had the biggest hit of the day as he slammed a three-run home run in the top of the fourth inning. Sherman is batting .391 with one home run and a team-leading 15 RBI.

“To come up with a two-out home run in the third inning was big for us,” Scott said. “He’s been one of our more consistent hitters and is doing a nice job in driving in runs.”

Mehlville first baseman Ryan Birmingham generated two hits and drove in the Panthers’ lone run. Birmingham’s batting .313 with eight RBI.

“Ryan’s a tremendous work,” Kern said. “He’s been seeing a lot of time at first base and he’s seeing the ball really well. Over the past two weeks, Ryan’s probably been our most consistent hitter.”

The Flyers are back in action at 4:15 p.m. Friday when they travel to Fox (8-3, 3-0 Suburban West). Fox currently is atop the Suburban West Conference standings after last week’s 9-4 win over Parkway South (7-2, 3-1).

The Panthers will travel to Lafayette (6-4, 3-2 Suburban West) for a 4:15 p.m. contest today — April 24.