Sunday, April 2, 2017

Baseball comeback

The Oran High School Eagles found themselves in a big hole Friday afternoon at Class 4 Kennett, trailing 6-1 heading into the fifth inning.  But somehow they managed to claw back and eventually win 7-6 in 8 innings.

Both teams scored a run in the first, but in the third, the Indians pushed across five runs.  With two outs and the bases loaded, Layne Johnson came in in relief of starter Drew Reischman.  Johnson was able to get out the inning when he recorded a strike out.  He would hold Kennett at bay the rest of the way while the Eagle bats started to heat up.

Reischman led off the fifth with a single.  After advancing to second on a wild pitch he scored on Johnson's triple to right.  Johnson scored on Clay Sauceda's double to the base of the fence in left-center.  Denver Elfrink reached on a fielder's choice, moved over to second on an errant pick-off attempt.  Elfrink hustled home on an infield throwing error to cut the deficit to 6-4.

In the sixth, Drew Mitchem led off with a single to left, Jacob Shoemaker beat out a bunt.  Both came home on Reischman's double to right-center to tie the game at 6.

Meanwhile, on the mound, through the sixth, Johnson retired 10 of the 11 he faced, allowing only a two-out walk in the fifth.  He struck out the first four batters.

Johnson had to work out of a jam in the bottom of the seventh, though.  A lead-off double put the potential winning run in scoring position.  An intentional walk followed to set up a possible double-play.  A groundball back to the pitcher turned into a force play at third to retire the lead runner for the first out of the inning.  After a groundout moved both runners up a base, a walk loaded the bags.  Johnson escaped unscathed with an inning-ending strikeout.

In the eighth, Reischman singled with one-out. his fourth hit of the day.  He went to second on a wild pitch and to third on Johnson's sac bunt.  He scored the go-ahead run on Cole Priggel's slow-rolling seeing-eye single into right.

Johnson gave up a one-out single, the runner stole second but the next batter struck out and then the next hit a fly ball to right that Elfrink gloved to seal the victory.

Coach Joe Bickings said, "That was a very good win against a quality baseball program.  We had one bad inning where Drew lost his control a little but we didn't get down and continued to battle back.  Layne came in and shut them down while our hitters continued to inch us back into the game.  It's really good to see us fight back and never give up. The kids have always done that.  I saw a few times last year and of course again with our basketball team during our state playoff run."

Reischman went the first 2 2/3, allowed 6 runs (4 earned) on 4 hits, he walked 2 and hit 4.  He recorded 1 strikeout and threw 61 pitches.  Johnson got the win, he is now 2-0.  He went 5 1/3 and gave up only 2 hits, he walked 3 (1 intentional) and struck out 8 on 85 pitches.

Reischman was 4-5 at the plate with 2 doubles, 2 RBI and 3 runs scored.  Johnson was 3-3 with a triple and an RBI.  Priggel was 2-5 and drove in 2.

The Eagles are now 3-0 and will be back in action on Monday when they host conference and district foe Delta at 4:30.

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