Oak Ridge captures district title

Friday, May 22, 2009

Ethan Sachs struck out 14 batters and No. 2 seed Oak Ridge claimed its first district baseball title in 15 years with an 8-2 victory against South Iron in the Class 1 District 3 final in Annapolis, Mo.

Oak Ridge improved to 12-6 and will host Winona in a sectional contest at 4 p.m. Monday.

Sachs, a senior right-hander, allowed just four hits in six inning as he upped his record to 4-1. He walked one and hit two batters.

Blue Jays coach Jason Niswonger said the strikeout total was probably a career high for Sachs.

"He had good command," Niswonger said. "He was overpowering with his fastball, locating his curveball and keeping everything down in the zone."

Brett Thomas pitched a hitless seventh to preserve the win. He struck out two batters.

Oak Ridge scored two runs in the bottom of the first, but No. 4 seed South Iron pulled even with two runs in the third.

Oak Ridge then broke the game open with a five-run fourth.

Niswonger credited sophomore Lucas Rohde with the key hit of the game, a one-out, two-run double that scored the first two runs in the fourth.

"That really picked up the bench," Niswonger said. "It was a huge momentum swing."

Rohde finished with two hits, as did teammate Garret Light, who also had two RBIs.

"[Rohde] is our No. 8 hitter and had been struggling, but he really broke out today," Niswonger said.

Niswonger said the school last won a district title in 1994.

The Blue Jays last played for a district title in 2005, but suffered a 21-5 loss to Caledonia.

"[South Iron] had been red hot," Niswonger said. "They knocked off the No. 1 seed Bismarck."

Oak Ridge 8, South Iron 2

South Iron0020000--243
Oak Ridge200510x--8100

WP -- Ethan Sachs, 4-1. LP -- Wakefield. 2B -- Wakefield (SI), Rainey (SI), Lucas Rohde (OR). Multiple hits -- South Iron: Middleton 2-2, Oak Ridge: Garret Light 2-4, Rohde 2-3. Records -- Oak Ridge 12-6.

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