In an era where hitters seem to have the advantage, Oakville and Jackson last week entangled in a rare pitching duel.
Jackson got the edge, stifling a late comeback attempt to clinch a 2-1 win.
The meeting between Oakville (8-3, 3-1 Suburban West) and Jackson (8-1) was a textbook example of a duel between two talented pitchers — the Tigers’ Brian Randolph and Jackson’s Jason Meystedt.
In fact, Jackson committed more errors — three — than Meystedt allowed hits. He gave up one run on two hits.
Randolph, meanwhile, allowed just two runs on four hits. The senior pitcher also gave up three walks while striking out six in his first loss of the 2005 season.
“It was a well-pitched ball game,” Oakville head coach Rich Sturm told the Call. “We put the bat on the ball several times but it was right to people.
“The game only took an hour and 15 minutes,” he said. “Brian was outstanding and only threw 75 pitches in six innings, which is unheard of. We’ve really been happy with the way he’s throwing the ball.”
The Tigers’ lone score of the game came when Dan Rohlfing came home from second on two wild pitches in the top of the seventh inning. The sophomore third baseman is batting .222 with one run batted in.
Oakville is back in action at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, April 20, as they play host to Kirkwood in a key Suburban West Conference meeting. Kirkwood is 1-4 overall and the Pioneers are coming off a tough 15-5 loss to Parkway West last Friday.
But Sturm knows his team doesn’t want to get into a hitting match with the Pioneers.
“They can flat out mash the ball,” he said. “They can really hit the ball and have some good pitchers. It’s going to be one of those games where our pitchers are going to need to get ahead of the count and get that first out of the inning right away.”