Lindbergh High baseball team riding a hot streak, overpowers Oakville in 3-1 win

By STEPHEN GLOVER

After winning the first nine games of the season, the Oakville Senior High School baseball team encountered a few bumps on the road to the Class 4, District 3 Tournament at Vianney this month.

The Tigers (13-4, 5-2 Suburban West) have lost four of their last eight games, including a disappointing 3-1 loss to Lindbergh April 21 after the dedication of Rich Sturm Sr. Field at Oakville Senior High School.

“Lindbergh is arguably one of the hottest teams in the area,” Oakville head coach Rich Sturm Jr. said. “They were the better team that day and there’s no question about it. Unfortunately, we made a couple of mental mistakes that cost us the game.”

The Flyers’ win marked their fifth straight as Lindbergh (11-6, 5-2 Suburban West) continued its hot streak later in the week with victories over Parkway West, Kirkwood and Fox.

“We were very honored to be a part of such a well-deserved honor and ceremony in the dedication of the field to Mr. Sturm (Sr.),” Lindbergh head coach Darin Scott said. “We had some key hits and situations that turned the momentum of the game in our favor.”

Lindbergh starting pitcher Andrew Keltner gave up just one run on three hits in seven innings. Keltner walked just one batter and struck out nine in the senior starting pitcher’s fourth win of the season. He is 4-1 overall with a 2.10 ERA.

“Andy’s been throwing the ball extremely well all season long,” Scott said. “He had command of all three of his pitches and this was our first game of the year where we didn’t have any errors.”

Oakville starting pitcher Nick Schmiemeier gave up just three runs on seven hits in seven innings. Schmiemeier gave up zero walks while striking out five batters in his second loss of the season. The junior starting pitcher is 4-2 overall with a 1.32 ERA.

“Nick without a doubt has been our workhorse,” the Oakville coach said. “You know that every time he’s out there, he’s going to compete and is always going to find a way to keep the team in the ball game.”

The Lindbergh trio of Cody Higgs, Nick Hoag and Brian Livingston generated two hits each with Higgs and Hoag each scoring one run. Livingston drove in one of Lindbergh’s three runs.

“The top of our lineup has really been doing a nice job coming up with big hits,” Scott said. “It’s nice to know that when you have runners in scoring position, you can get timely hits from them.”

The Tigers’ lone run of the game came from a solo home run shot by Brandon Alexander in the bottom of the sixth.

“Brandon’s been at the top of our lineup since the start of the season,” Sturm said. “He’s a multidimensional player and when he’s seeing the ball well, he sprays hits all over the field.”

The Tigers are back in action at 7 p.m. Wednesday when they face Vianney (9-7, 4-1 Metro Catholic). The Golden Griffins squeezed out an 11-10 win over DeSmet last week.

The Flyers are back in action at 4:15 p.m. today — May 1— when they play host to Parkway Central (7-5, 3-3 Suburban South) in non-conference action. In their last game before press time, the Colts dropped a 1-0 decision to Webster Groves as starting pitcher Max Ockner gave up just one run on one hit in six innings.

“We’ve had Parkway Central on our schedule the past several years and they’re always a quality team,” Scott said. “It’s going to be a tough week for us where we play four quality opponents over the next four days.”