Oakville Legion baseball experiences pitching struggles, suffers 19-8 loss

By Stephen Glover

If you could point to one reason as to why the Oakville American Legion baseball club currently is struggling, it has to be pitching.

With three starting pitchers either on the disabled list or currently coming off the DL, Oakville (5-11) has began looking toward its positional players for help on the mound.

Such is the recipe for perseverance as Oakville awaits the return of pitcher Casey Turner, along with Brian Randolph and Matt Pressler.

“They (Turner, Randolph and Presser) were penciled in as our three top pitchers,” Oakville head coach Mike Wilhelm told the Call.

“Lot of their problems are mechanical issues. They’ve had to throw a lot recently and it’s caught up to them.”

Oakville’s pitching woes were apparent June 23 in a 19-8 loss to Manchester. Turner took the loss as he lasted three innings on the mound, while giving up six runs and five walks and striking out four.

The start was Turner’s first since coming off the DL and Wilhelm did not want to take the risk of another injury by letting him stay out on the pitcher’s mound too long.

“We’re trying to bring him back slowly,” Wilhelm said.

“He actually said that his arm was OK after he threw this evening.”

Center fielder Ken Meyer was one of the few Oakville highlights offensively, as he went 1-3 at the plate with three runs scored and two walks.

Oakville plays host to Anheuser Busch today — June 24 — at Heine Meine in a game that has become a friendly rivalry between the two ball clubs.

“They’ve recently beat us the last three times we’ve faced them,” Wilhelm said. “Their coach Mike Clifton wants to win more than any coach I’ve seen. Also, if their top pitcher Ron Martin pitches, we had better throw a shutout.”

The Anheuser Busch-Oakville showdown is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start.