Tigers defeat Seckman for district title

By STEPHEN GLOVER

Behind a solid relief effort from Ryan Daniels, the Oakville Senior High School baseball team scored 11 runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to defeat Seckman 13-4 in the Class 4, District 3 championship game last week.

The Tigers (25-3, 6-2 Suburban West Conference) found themselves down 4-0 after three innings, prompting head coach Rich Sturm to have Daniels relieve starting pitcher Nick Schmiemeier.

“The game didn’t start out really well, but after the first inning, we really settled down,” Sturm said. “Had Seckman scored six or eight runs, we could have easily lost to them.”

Schmiemeier’s three-inning performance included four runs on three hits with a total of four walks and three strikeouts.

“During the first inning, he was fine, but he was his own worst enemy at times,” Sturm said. “They laid down a bunt and he ended up throwing the ball down the first base line. But again, when he left the game, we were still in the game.”

When Daniels took the mound to start the fourth inning, the Tigers found themselves down 4-0. Daniels threw four innings, giving up just one hit while walking three and striking out four in his sixth win of the season. The junior reliever is 6-0 overall with a 2.59 ERA.

“Ryan’s won games out of the bullpen as well as being a starter,” Sturm said. “He really was the difference maker for us in that game.”

While Tyler Bunge, Drew Levi, Drew Stanton and Tyler Mischel each had two hits against the Jaguars, it was Ryan Huck’s two-hit showing that got the Tigers going with a two-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning.

“In the last two weeks, Ryan’s shortened his swing and as a result, he’s hit a lot of home runs,” Sturm said. “He’s just scorching the ball all over the place.”

Oakville was scheduled to return to action Tuesday afternoon — after the Call went to press — against Marquette (21-3, 5-2 Suburban West) at home.

Marquette is coming off a 3-1 win over Parkway South in which the Mustangs received solid pitching performances from starter Matt Seevers and reliever Andy Bartlett. The Mustangs defeated Oakville 11-7 on May 7.

“Marquette’s a team that’s very similar to us,” Sturm said. “They hit for a lot of power and their middle infield’s going to Division I schools. It’s definitely going to be a challenge and we’re the underdog, so we’ve got something to prove.”

Should the Tigers defeat Marquette, they would play at the winner of the De Soto-vs.-Rolla sectional today — May 28 — in the Class 4 quarterfinal.