Mehlville baseball team struggling this year

By STEPHEN GLOVER

The start of the 2008 baseball season has been nothing short of a struggle for the Mehlville Senior High School Panthers.

Like many teams, the Panthers (0-4) have been battling Mother Nature, but are also dealing with a four-game losing streak.

“We’re struggling in a variety of facets,” Mehlville head coach Bob Kern told the Call. “We’re struggling in offensive production and we’re not getting two-out hits with runners in scoring position. We’re struggling with pitchers limiting the number of walks in a game and we haven’t played well defensively.”

In last week’s 6-3 loss to Fox, the Panthers got a solid effort from starting pitcher Jarred Bach, but struggled to convert hits into runs against the Warriors.

Mehlville took a 2-0 lead going into the top of the third inning March 25, but the Warriors hammered out two runs in the third inning, one run in the fourth and three runs in the fifth en route to the win.

“The fifth inning was a very poor defensive inning for us,” Kern said. “It was an inning where we allowed Fox in upwards of six outs in that we were just not making plays.”

Bach took the loss for Mehlville, giving up three runs on six hits in four innings.

The senior starting pitcher also recorded one strikeout in his first start of the season. Bach was solid at the plate with a two-hit performance that included one double and one run scored.

“Jarred didn’t do a bad job on the mound,” Kern said. “One thing we talked to the guys about was minimizing walks and he did a good job with that. So for his first varsity pitching outing, I think he did a pretty good job.”

Senior catcher John Brinkmann also had a two-hit performance that included a double, a run batted in and a stolen base.

Brinkmann is batting .308 with one double, one home run and four runs batted in.

“John’s a talented offensive player and is as good as we have at the plate,” Kern said. “He’s hitting the ball hard and had a good day there at the plate.”