COLUMBIA — Major League Baseball prospect Tim Melville had struck out three consecutive batters when Hickman senior outfielder Taylor Steuber stepped up to the plate.
Steuber dug his front foot into the dirt while getting the sign from Hickman coach Dave Wilson. He stepped into the batters box and set his stance. Melville threw the pitch and Steuber drove it into left field.
“I just wanted to show my team that he was hittable,” Steuber said. “He’s almost the same as everyone else except he has a little bit more on his fastball.”
Melville only gave up three hits during the game and two of them came off the bat of Steuber.
Despite Steuber’s effort, the Wentzville-Holt Indians (16-6) beat the Kewpies 8-1 on Tuesday night.
When he stepped up to the plate, Steuber said he was trying to not be intimidated. “I just went up there with the confidence that I was going to hit the ball.”
Wilson said the key to hitting a challenging fastball is to use the pitcher’s strengths against him.
Choking up on the bat is something Steuber said allowed him to get his swing through the zone quickly enough to make contact.
“You got to let him supply the power when you are at the plate and to try to be quick with your hands,” Wilson said. “You really have to look for the fastball and try to make adjustments to that.”
Wilson said that Steuber’s swing in conducive to getting hits of a fastball pitcher because he has quick hands and a level swing.
“He was letting him supply the power and he got the barrel through and had a couple nice hits today,” Wilson said.
Steuber, who also had an the lone Kewpie RBI., is batting .300 with 11 RBIs.
Hickman, now 19-5, will play at 4:30 today against Francis Howell.