Pelham, Oak Mtn. open Area 10 on top

Published 12:46 pm Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Pelham and Oak Mountain took the first-place lead in Class 6A, Area 10 after winning the first area baseball games of the season Tuesday.

Pelham (9-1, 1-0) rode the arm of sophomore pitcher Trevor Fitts to a 4-2 victory at rival Thompson, while Oak Mountain rocked Spain Park, 6-0, at home.

Fitts went the distance for the Panthers, striking out eight and allowing only one earned run off eight hits in seven innings.

Tripp Martin drove in Michael Bishop in the first inning to put Pelham on top, but Thompson evened the score in the second.

A string of Thompson errors in the fourth, helped put the Panthers back on top with a three-run inning. A double by Andrew Bishop scored Martin and Ryan Roberts, while Bishop later scored on an error. Thompson added one more run in the sixth, but stranded four base runners in the final two innings combined.

Zach Smith and Gus Williford both drove in runs for the Warriors, while Trent Lucas picked up the loss on the mound, allowing four runs, three of which were earned, on four hits through six innings.

Thompson (7-5, 0-1) will travel to Pelham for game two of the series Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Across the county, Spain Park pitcher Chase Traffica set foot on a familiar mound when he returned to Oak Mountain in a Jaguar uniform. Last year’s ace pitcher for Oak Mountain was rocked in his first game against his former team, allowing six earned runs off seven hits and two home runs to Oak Mountain first baseman Davis Dudchock.

Dudchock collected four RBIs to help lead the Eagles. Matt Stroup and David Dahl also drove in runs.

Cary Baxter pitched the complete game shut out, allowing four hits and striking out nine.

Traffica and Charlie Esskuchen each hit a double to lead Spain Park’s offense.

Oak Mountain (6-3, 1-0) will travel to Spain Park (7-3, 0-1) for game two of the series Friday at 6:30 p.m.

Defending state champion Hoover is the fifth team in Area 10 and will open play March 10 against Spain Park at Hoover.