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Evergreen Park hadn’t defeated Oak Forest in the nine years they’ve competed in the same conference.
That is, until Thursday.
Pitcher Frank Meisl tossed a four-hit gem to lead Evergreen Park to a 5-0 blanking of visiting Oak Forest in a South Suburban Conference contest.
Meisl, a senior right-hander, was exceptional. He allowed no walks and struck out three in an 81-pitch performance.
“That’s the best game I’ve seen him throw,” Evergreen Park coach Mark Smyth said. “He was throwing his curveball for a strike and spotting his fastball.”
Meisl helped his own cause on two occasions, making fine bare-handed grabs on a pair of grounders that resulted in outs.
“I was a little pumped up,” said Meisl, now 2-1 on the season. “I really tried to focus on getting my curveball over for a strike. It’s my go-to pitch.”
The Mustangs’ defense was flawless behind its ace pitcher. The Bengals’ best scoring chance arrived in the second inning when Alex Maka and pitcher Drew Dominik reached on consecutive infield singles. Austin Davis, however, hit a ground ball that Evergreen Park turned into a 4-6-3, inning-ending double play.
“Our infield is ridiculous,” Meisl said. “Mark [Martin], Sean [Miller], Corey [Miller], Tim [Walsh] and Mike [Rizzo] have been playing so well. I really didn’t feel good warming up today. The first inning, I was super uncomfortable.”
Oak Forest was its own worst enemy, committing four errors on the day, each leading to runs.
In the fourth inning, Dan Kohler reached on a one-out error and came around to score on a double into the right-center field gap by Corey Miller.
“I’ve been swinging the bat pretty well lately,” Miller said. “I wanted to make contact and take a good swing.”
Another error, this one on a ball hit by Brendan Walsh, allowed the Mustangs (6-7, 5-4) to extend their lead to 2-0. Walsh eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Two more errors in the seventh allowed Evergreen Park to open up a 5-0 advantage. Kevin Farmer’s RBI double scored Miller and an infield single by Walsh plated Farmer.
Dominik deserved a better fate. He allowed seven hits, walked one and fanned five over six innings. Luke Heniff had two hits for the Bengals (12-6, 6-2).
“Their kid threw strikes,” Oak Forest coach Thad Gatton said. “We didn’t make the plays. Drew is a competitor. He didn’t get much help today.”