Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Baseball clobbers Cardinals

As Oran's softball team was routing the visiting Woodland team with a young pitcher getting her first start, just a short sand-wedge away the same scenario was unfolding as Oran's baseball team was racking up a 17-0 five-inning mercy-rule victory over the Woodland Cardinals.  Freshman Kaden Hargrove got his first varsity spring start to pick up the win.  He made it memorable by tossing a no-hitter and he was just one ball-four away from a perfect game.

The Eagles got all the offense they would need in the first inning.

Layne Johnson could not have used a putter anymore accurately as he dropped a bunt down the third base line for a single.  With one-out, Drew Reischman hit a three-iron laser shot over the left field fence.  It was the team's first home run of the season.

Oran was not satisfied with only two runs, however.

In the second inning, they sent 10 to the plate and pushed six across.

The big blows included a bases-loaded two-RBI double by Jacob Shoemaker and a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double by Todd Priggel.

As big as the second inning was, the third was even bigger.

In that frame, 14 batted and nine runs scored.  The Eagles used four singles, three walks, three hit batters, a fielder's choice and an error.

Coach Joe Bickings said, "It was a good win for us and we were able to get some good weather to play baseball in.  I didn’t think we were ready to play by the way we took in and out so I challenged our kids to jump on them early and keep the gas pedal down.  They responded and we were able to put up some crooked number 3 innings in a row.  It was good to see some of our hitters that have been struggling here of late be able to get some hits and hit the ball hard.

Meanwhile, on the mound, Hargrove had retired all nine he had faced.  He allowed only one ball out of the infield, that a shallow fly to center that Johnson made a nice sliding catch on.

After that long home-half of the third, Hargrove had a little trouble with control.  He walked the first man he faced on a very close 3-2 pitch.  He went full on the next two, before striking them out.  He induced a groundout to third to end the inning.

In the fifth,  he struck out the first two on six total pitches and then got the final out on a nice play he made on a little dribbler up the third base line that looked like it might turn into a hit.

Coach Bickings said, " I can’t say enough about Kaden Hargrove’s pitching performance.  Throwing 65% of his pitches for strikes and 12 first-pitch strikes to the 16 batters he faced is amazing.  The only blemish on his stat sheet was his 1 walk on his way to a no-hitter.  His off-speed pitches were a little erratic at times but he was able to use his fastball to get the batters out."

Hargrove threw only 60 pitches in five innings of work. He struck out six while walking the one.

His defense played errorless behind him.

Priggel went 2-3 and drove in five.  Shoemaker was also 2 for 3 and he had three runs driven in.

Oran improved to 5-3 and now have a three-game winning streak.

They host Advance on Thursday at 4:30 in a key district match up.

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