Tigers on receiving end of 3-1 Vianney defeat

By Stephen Glover

When you really take a look at the Missouri high school baseball championships, you realize that only two teams end the season with a victory — those being the state champions and the winner of the third-place game.

The Oakville High baseball team had strung together a nine-game winning streak going into the District No. 3 semifinal against Vianney. In fact, the Tigers (16-8, 5-3 Suburban South) had been averaging 8.66 runs a game while allowing their opponents to average just 2.33 runs a game.

Never in their wildest dreams would they think that they would be on the receiving end of a 3-1 defeat to Vianney and a no-hitter by starting pitcher Nick Schmidt.

Oakville head coach Rich Sturm was quick to give credit where it was due.

“We’ve had some kids that had some good offensive seasons, but Schmidt just threw it right by them,” Sturm said. “All things considered, it was a 3-1 game and we didn’t even have a hit.”

Tigers starting pitcher Andy Marks threw a solid six innings, giving up just three earned runs on nine hits. Marks rounded out the season with a stout 9-1 record, in which he carried a 1.87 earned-run average and kept opponents to a cool .214 batting average.

Oakville loses seven seniors this season as Tim Andrew, Eric Brewer, Ryan Gray, Ben Kriegel, Brendon Magruder, Mike McComish and Chris Panopoulos graduate this year. Yet the Tigers are slated to have 11 players back next season, which is a good building block to success, according to Sturm.