UPDATED: Baseball Tigers to face Vianney today for district title

Oakville prevaisl over Mehlville in semifinal game

By Robert Chalupny

Pitching was the key to success for the Oakville Senior High School varsity baseball team as the Tigers beat rival Mehlville with a dominant 9-0 victory in the district semifinal game Tuesday in front of a home crowd.

The win was the Tigers’ first of the 2014 postseason campaign as they earned a bye in the first round of district play with a regular-season record of 15-10.

Oakville Head Coach Rich Sturm told the Call that the win was a well-balanced team victory.

“We got excellent pitching,” Sturm said. “Ryan Brady threw a complete-game, three-hit shutout. He was excellent. Three hits, one walk and five strike outs. He was outstanding, and we played great defense.”

The bats were awake too against the Panthers as the Tigers combined for 12 hits, including multiple-hit showings by Corey Chambliss, 3; Raul Elguezabai, 2; Andy Oliver, 3; and Eric Hipp, 2.

“So up and down the lineup, we hit the ball and like, I said good pitching, good defense, that usually bodes well for a win,” Sturm said.

The Tigers’ pitching will need to remain stellar throughout the postseason for Oakville continue to move forward With Brady, there is reason to believe that it will continue that way.

“Ryan Brady has been our ace for two years,” Sturm said.” He has a varsity career mark of 15-1. The one loss came in relief … He has never lost a game that he has started.

“He has been absolutely brilliant. He’s going to the university of Evansville next year. He’s going to pitch there. He’s just been outstandin, but that there really was our key.”

Oakville’s Bailey Vuylsteke, who is 0-3 with an 3.0 ERA this season in 16.3 innings, will need an even stronger performance when the Tigers face Vianney in the district championship game at 4:15 p.m. today — Thursday — at Kirkwood High School.

“Vianney has one of the top offensive lineups in the St. Louis area,” Sturm said. “So we are going to try to do the best we can to try and slow them down a little bit. It certainly would help if we could get out to some kind of a lead and kind of work from there.

“We played them earlier in the season. They have a very formidable lineup 1 through 9. The (pitcher) we are going to see (today) for them, Jake Hemphill, is their ace. He’s 9-0 and has an ERA under 2. It’s going to be a very, very tough task for us, but we are up for it.

“Our team is ready to go (today) and anxious to get out there .. to play and see what happens … Hopefully, we can make the most of it, but we we’re going to be playing, obviously, a very, very good team.”

Editor’s note: This story was updated to reflect the district baseball championship game will be played at 4:15 p.m. today — Thursday. Wednesday’s scheduled game was postponed because of inclement weather.