After losing eight of its last 10 games, the Oakville American Legion baseball team looked to the Fourth of July Tournament at Heine Meine as an opportunity to get back on track for the start of the District 10 Tournament this weekend.
Oakville did just that with a 7-6 win over Rock Memorial July 2 and a 5-4 victory over New Baden Friday. A Saturday morning game against Maryland Heights was called because of rain in the morning and afternoon.
In the win over New Baden, Oakville’s Grant Steiger singled to right-center field in the eighth inning to drive in Matt Tabor from second base for the extra-innings victory.
“What we had was some good pitching, good defense and timely hitting that helped us put a couple wins together,” Oakville head coach Matt Boyer told the Call.
“In the New Baden game, I think we could have done some more damage, but we just couldn’t get the ball on the bat more,” he added.
Oakville starting pitcher Brandon Klump received the no-decision in the win over New Baden as he gave up three runs in six innings.
Klump also walked five batters and struck out four in his eighth start of the season.
“Brandon pitched a good game,” Boyer said. “He gave up some walks, but he got himself out of trouble a couple of times in the game.”
Relief pitcher Jordan Tipton received the win against New Baden as he gave up one run in two innings.
Tipton struck out two in his third win of the season.
“Jordan came in the day before and closed out Rock Memorial, so he’s really been our closer this season,” Boyer said. “He’s the kind of pitcher that makes guys put the ball into play.”
Steiger, who drove in the game-winning run against New Baden, had a two-hit performance that brought his batting average to .351.
“Grant had a good weekend,” Boyer said. “He was 3-4 against Rock Memorial and is really starting to heat up here at the end of the season.”
Oakville will return to action at 5:30 p.m. Friday for the first round of the District 10 Tournament.
Oakville will face the winner of the Florissant-vs.-Kirkwood game, which was scheduled to be played after the Call went to press.
“It’s a double-elimination tournament, and we usually play our best during tournaments,” Boyer said. “Our downfall has been consistent pitching and timely hitting, and it looks like the boys are coming together at the right time of the season. I think we just might surprise a few teams this weekend.”