Saturday, March 25, 2017

Eagles win opener

The Oran High School baseball team turned a close game into a rout yesterday by scoring 9 runs in the final two innings to pick up a 13-3 victory at Bloomfield in their first game of the season.

The Eagles led 4-3 heading into the 5th but tacked on 5 runs and 4 more in the 6th to win the mercy-rule contest.

Drew Reischman led off with a double to right-center to start the game.  Layne Johnson drove him home with an RBI single to left.

The Wildcats tied it up in their half of the first.

The score was still 1-1 heading into the third.

Reischman started the inning with a single to left, Johnson tripled to center. Cole Priggel then doubled down the line in left to make the score 3-1.  Priggel advanced to third on a passed ball and then scored on a perfectly executed one-out squeeze play by Denver Elfrink.

It was 4-1 heading to the bottom of the third.

Bloomfield used a walk, an error, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly to cut the margin to 1, 4-3 in their half.

That was the score heading into the fifth inning when  Priggel reached on an infield error.  He came home after Clay Sauceda hit a triple to the deepest part of center field.  Wyatt Kinney entered as the courtesy runner and jogged home an out later after Todd Priggel hit a towering home run to right.

After a pitching change, Drew Mitchem and Jacob Shoemaker both walked with 2 outs.  Both also advanced on a wild pitch.  Mitchem would score on Reischman's single, moving Shoemaker to third. Johnson was hit by a pitch and then Shoemaker scored the fifth run of the frame on a wild pitch during Cole Priggels' second at-bat of the inning.

Johnson, who had gotten the start on the mound, was relieved by Sauceda to start the bottom of the 5th.  Sauceda faced the minimum thanks, in part, to a nice play by Elfrink in the 5th.  A one-out single to right made it to the fence, but when the Wildcat runner tried to advance to second, Elfrink threw a strike to Reischman, covering the bag, to gun him down by 4 steps.

Then, the Eagles finished out the scoring in the sixth.

Back to back walks to Sauceda and Elfrink and a wild pitch had runners on second and third. Todd Priggel then hit a hard ground ball past the drawn-in infield into right to plate both.  Austin Eftink drew a walk and a passed ball had runners on second and third again, this time with two outs, when Reischman picked up his fourth hit of the game, this time a 2-RBI double.

Coach Joe Bickings said, "It was nice to come out and swing the bats well in the 1st game. We still made a few mistakes during the game that I thought we shouldn't have with an experienced team.  But, like I told them after the game that this was our first game and some mistakes were going to happen and we just have to learn from them and get better"

Reischman went 4 of 5 with 2 doubles, 3 RBI and scored twice.  Todd Priggel was 2-4 with a home run, 4 runs driven in and crossed the plate twice.  Johnson was 2 of 4 with a triple, 2 RBI and also scored 2 runs at the plate, on the mound he picked up the victory.  He tossed 4 innings, gave up 3 runs (1 earned) walked 6 and struck out 5.

Coach Bicking talked about the pitching, " Layne didn't have his best stuff or much control but he battled and held them in check and gave us a chance to win. Being his first outing that's all we can ask for.  It was nice to see Clay have quick work in his two innings pitched."

Sauceda pitched 2 innings, gave up 1 hit and struck out 2.  At the plate, Sauceda was 1-2 with a triple.  His courtesy runner, Kinney added 2 runs.  Cole Priggel was 1-4 with a double, a stolen base and he too scored twice.

The Eagles totaled 10 hits on the day and 7 were for extra bases.

Oran will return to the field next Wednesday for their home-opener.  It will be a baseball/softball doubleheader against Oak Ridge.  First pitches are scheduled for 4:30.

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