Oran seeks a third straight trip to the Class 1 final four

Friday, May 28, 2004

Oran's baseball team has finished third and second the last two seasons in the Class 1 state tournament, respectively.

Seniors Matt Seyer and Garrett Roslen played on those two teams, and they would like to make that trip again. The Eagles will travel to Thayer today for a 4 p.m. Class 1 quarterfinal game.

"I told myself last year after we lost the championship that we'd be back there," Seyer said.

Few people outside Oran believed the Eagles could make another run to Columbia after losing seven seniors. But after a 14-1 win over North Pemiscot on Wednesday, the Eagles (21-3) are one step away from their third straight final four.

"Before the season started a lot of people were saying we wouldn't do good this year," Roslen said. "That hurt us a lot, but we've had a bunch of guys step up."

Of the Eagles' nine starters, five are upper classmen, including three seniors. Sophomores Joey Williams, Paul Bucher and Austin Dumey have provided strong hitting in the middle of the order, and freshman Chase Seyer has had a strong season with the bat as well as being Oran's No. 2 starter.

Oran's other regulars include senior Brent Graviett, and juniors Craig Friga and Trevor Irwin.

Oran coach Mitch Wood said it helps having players like Roslen and Seyer who have been to the state tournament.

"I think that definitely helps out a lot," Wood said. "Instead of having 10 kids all starry-eyed, we have six or seven."

The hot bats of Oran have been a key for the Eagles all season. Leadoff batter Matt Seyer has a team-high batting average of .506, and six of nine Oran regulars are hitting above .300.

"I knew we would hit the ball really well," Seyer said. "I knew we wouldn't hit for the same power, but I'm not surprised we're hitting so well."

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