Mehlville Senior High School head baseball coach Bob Kern termed a 10-1 loss to St. Dominic “our worst effort of the year.”
“We didn’t pitch very well, we didn’t hit very well and we didn’t play very well defensively. You’ve got to give credit to St. Dominic, but our effort was just not there at all,” Kern said of the April 4 outing.
Mehlville starting pitcher Ethan Stenger struggled in just 22⁄3 innings, giving up five runs on five hits. The junior hurler also walked two batters and struck out two in his first loss of the season. Stenger is 1-1 with a 2.84 earned run average.
“Wednesday (April 4) was a matter of him not doing a very good job locating his pitches and keep them up in the zone,” Kern said. “He wasn’t as sharp as he’s been in his last two outings and for him to be successful, he needs to keep the ball down in the zone and throw strikes.”
Glenn Grimm, who gave up three runs on three hits in just 2 1⁄3 innings, relieved Stenger during the third inning. The junior reliever also walked one and struck out three in his third appearance on the mound this season.
“Glenn came in to finish off the inning for Ethan and got us out of a tough situation,” Kern said. “Overall, I was happy with how Glenn went out there and threw.”
Senior Barry Gregg finished the final two innings on the mound for the Panthers, giving up two runs on two hits. Gregg also walked one batter and struck out one in his fourth appearance of the season.
“It was a matter of wanting to get Barry some work since we had only two games this week,” Kern said. “We put him out there and I think it was a difficult situation for a guy that’s used to starting and we were down 7-0.
Mehlville’s John Brinkman drove in the team’s lone run of the game in the third inning as he recorded one hit in three at-bats. The junior designated hitter is holding down a .273 batting average with two runs batted in.
“John’s been hitting the ball as consistent as anyone we have,” Kern said. “The one thing that John’s been doing consistently is that he’s battling at the plate and moving runners over when we need him to.”
Mehlville is back in action at 4:30 p.m. today — April 12 — when the Panthers travel to St. Louis University High. SLUH (8-0, 1-0 Metro Catholic) has started the season on fire, averaging more than 10 runs a game.