Eagles dump Hawks
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Oran fended off Kelly's rallies to earn victory over local rival.
The visiting Oran Eagles dodged just enough bullets from the Kelly Hawks to pull out a 2-1 victory against the cross-county rival Tuesday.
Oran took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning and managed to thwart four straight rallies by the Hawks over the next four innings with solid pitching and strong defense.
"Pitching and defense has been our key to winning right now because we're not just stroking the ball real well," Oran coach Mitch Wood said. "As long as we can do that, we'll stay in ballgames. If our bats ever come around, we could be dangerous, especially if our pitching and defense stays the way it is."
The back-breaker for Kelly was a bases-loaded, no outs situation in the bottom of the fifth with the No. 3 hitter, Dallas Tew, at the plate.
Tew hit into a fielder's choice to third baseman Cody Dirnberger, who got the lead runner at home plate.
Then the Hawks had a base-running blunder when Levi Felter tried to score from third on a wild pitch, but he turned back and got caught in a run-down for the second out.
"In that case, you want him to just go ahead full speed to the plate," Kelly coach Cory Johnson said. "If you're going to go, don't get stuck. You want to get a good jump, but he got halfway down and got stuck and got in a rundown and they got a cheap out on us. You can't make those types of mistakes against a good team like that."
Oran pitcher Alex Chasteen then got Dustin LeGrand to pop out to second baseman Kody Campbell to end the threat.
"We made some big plays on defense," Wood said. "The freshman [Dirnberger] we brought in did a good job at third base. You can't always count on freshmen, but they did a little bit there. I was tickled with his effort today. He did a good job."
Kelly's final chance to tie the game came in the bottom of the seventh as Ethan Lee and Felter led off with back-to-back singles to chase Chasteen from the hill.
Wood brought in Chase Seyer to stop the damage and he did just that. The left-hander struck out Taylor James and got Tew and LeGrand to hit into consecutive fielder's choice plays to end the game.
"We just felt they needed to see somebody different and he shut the door on them," Wood said of Seyer. "We had about three innings there at the end where they had runners on but we made the plays when we had to."
Kelly had runners in scoring position numerous times but couldn't come away with the timely hits.
"[Oran has] got experience and they know how to get out of jams," Johnson said. "We didn't do the job that we needed to do, whether it was a bunt or moving the ball to one side of the field just to get a run home and tie the game."
Chasteen was the winning pitcher, throwing six plus innings and allowing one run off six hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Seyer pitched one inning for the save.
Kelly's James Miller was the tough-luck loser, throwing all seven innings and allowing two runs on five hits with five walks and eight strikeouts.