Mehlville baseball team shows improvement

By STEPHEN GLOVER

Success sometimes comes in little steps and last week was a small triumph of success for the Mehlville Senior High School baseball team.

The Panthers (0-5) continued their struggles April 2 with a 5-2 loss to St. Dominic.

Despite the setback, Mehlville head coach Bob Kern saw glimpses of hope for his baseball club.

“We had some productive at-bats,” Kern said. “As the game went on, we continued to make adjustments at the plate and improve our at-bats.”

The Panthers also improved on the defensive side of the ball by committing just one error against St. Dominic.

Mehlville starting pitcher Ethan Stenger gave up five runs on eight hits in six innings pitched. The senior hurler walked two batters and struck out two in his second loss of the season. Stenger is 0-2 with a 6.30 earned-run average.

“Ethan actually gave us a good pitching effort,” Kern said. “He struggled at the be-ginning of the start with his location, but he really settled down by the second inning.”

Mehlville starting catcher John Brinkmann drove in one of the Panthers’ two runs while also chalking up his third stolen base of the season. Brinkmann is batting .313 with five runs batted in.

Brinkmann signed with Lindenwood University last week to play baseball next season for the Lions. Stenger is scheduled to sign with Southwest Baptist University this week.

“John’s been hitting the ball real hard,” Kern said. “In the past, when guys get that pressure of signing with a school off their back, you usually see them relax for the rest of the season.”

The Panthers are set to play host to St. Louis University High (6-1) at 4 p.m. Friday and play Oakville (8-0) at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at GCS Ballpark in Sauget, Ill.

SLUH is coming off a 4-1 win at Ladue while Oakville swept a doubleheader against Lindbergh 5-1 and Northwest 8-6.

“The Oakville game is something that we’ve been doing for the past five or six years,” Kern said. “It’s one of the few night games that we get in and the kids know that this is always a special game for us.”