Oakville American Legion team struggles with errors in 10-5 loss

Team back in action Thursday

By STEPHEN GLOVER

Although it’s been said that solid defensive play can win baseball games, poor play on the field can quickly help lose them.

The Oakville American Legion baseball team may have realized that last Thursday evening as they committed seven errors in a 10-5 loss to rival Lemay.

“It was a very poor defensive game,” Oakville head coach Matt Boyer told the Call. “Everything that could go wrong de-fensively did go wrong.”

Oakville (8-5, 2-1 District 10 South) found itself down 6-0 midway through the seventh inning as starting pitcher Matt Pressler threw a solid performance on the mound despite giving up five unearned runs in seven innings.

Pressler gave up one earned run on six hits while walking two and striking out eight in his first loss of the season.

“This was the first earned run he’s given up all season,” Boyer explained. “He’s basically been as good as you can be on the mound.”

Oakville scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh and two runs in the bottom of the eighth as Lemay held a 6-5 advantage. But Oakville’s errors in the top of the ninth led to Lemay’s seventh win of the season.

“We were down and fought back,” Boyer said. “Then they go and score four runs in the top of the ninth.”

Oakville first baseman Mike Russo was three-for-three on the night and also drove in two runs. Russo is currently batting .323 with six runs batted in this season.

“Mike had a few clutch hits that scored some runs,” Boyer said. “He had a really good night.”

Another Oakville player that had a solid evening was right fielder Louie Haseltine, who was three-for-five at the plate and raised his batting average to an impressive 537.

“Louie’s been steady for us all season,” Boyer said. “He’s a pure hitter, and there’s not many better than him.”

Oakville’s Legion team is back in action today — June 15— at home against Anheuser Busch at 8 p.m.

The team also takes on Cape Girardeau Saturday as part of a doubleheader that is scheduled to start at noon.

Boyer believes that despite an upcoming grueling stretch in the schedule, he has enough pitching depth to essentially keep fresh arms on the mound. It’s the defensive mishaps that have him concerned.

“At this part of the schedule, we’re playing every day,” Boyer said. “We’ve got about a half-dozen starters and another half-dozen that can relieve for one or two innings. We’ve been getting good pitching performances. Our losses have been due to defensive mishaps.”