Oak Mtn. baseball stays alive, sweeps Pelham

Published 11:50 pm Friday, April 3, 2009

It’s a pennant race to the end. Class 6A, Area 10 was turned upside down Friday, as Oak Mountain completed an area series sweep of top-ranked Pelham.

Oak Mountain took a 5-0 lead after two and forced Pelham to rally, scoring one run in the third, one in the fourth and two in the fifth. However, Jake Hubbard shut down the Panthers in the sixth and seventh to secure the win for Oak Mountain.

David Dahl led Oak Mountain with two hits, including a home run, and two RBIs. Matthew Stroup and J.D. Crowe also each had two hits, while Stroup, Davis Dudchock and Cary Baxter each drove in runs.

Alvin Hines had a double and single to lead Pelham, as the Panthers scattered five other hits across the lineup. Michael Bishop, Austin Dubberly, Tripp Martin and Andrew Bishop each knocked in runs.

Thomas Milstead took the loss after allowing five earned runs in one and one-third innings. He gave up five hits and walked five.

Jake Gayle struck out seven for the Oak Mountain win.

While the Eagles’ win does not eliminate the Panthers’ hopes of an area championship, it does complicate them with Hoover coming to town next week.

Hoover (23-8, 4-2) secured its playoff spot Friday with an extra-innings win over Thompson at home and can wreck the Panthers’ season with a sweep April 7 and 10. If the Bucs were to sweep Pelham (19-4, 4-2), and Spain Park win at least one game against Thompson, then Oak Mountain would slip into the playoffs on the head-to-head tiebreaker, leaving the Panthers at home.

Pelham will have to sweep the Hoover series to win the area outright. A split would result in a coin-flip to break the tie.

Other baseball games from staff reports:

-HOOVER 7, THOMPSON 6: Michael Crump hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings against Thompson, and Ryan Dunne sealed the win with an RBI single in the bottom of the 11th. Thompson took a 2-0 lead in the first with RBIs from Nick Billi and Zach Smith, but Hoover cut the lead in half, 2-1, in the bottom of the inning. Bradley Patton and Trent Lucas hit back-to-back solo home runs in the third to stretch the lead to 4-1, but Hoover took the lead in the bottom of the fifth with a four-spot. Patton added another solo homer in the sixth to tie the game, and Ian Murray pushed across the go-ahead run moments later to give Thompson a 6-5 lead. Jake Hester took the loss, allowing only one hit in three innings of work.

-SPAIN PARK 4, 3, SPARKMAN 11, 2: In game two, Charlie Esskuchen had three hits and two RBIs to lead Spain Park, but the big hit of the game came when Mikey White was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to score Chase Traffica and win the doubleheader nightcap. Hunter Walker, Chris Ellis and Matt Watson each pitched for the Jaguars. In game one, Carter White had two RBIs for the Jags, as Sparkman put up three runs in the third inning and five in the fourth to take the lead. Spain Park scored all four runs in the third.

-EVANGEL 3, NEW CREATION 2: Evangel held on to win after Henry Foster scored the eventual winning run after giving the Lightning a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Foster drove in Micah Mularski to break a 1-1 tie with an RBI single and later scored on n RBI by Adrian Young. New Creation added a run in sixth but was unable to get any more offense.

-EVANGEL 10, HERRITAGE 0: Evangel put up seven runs in the fifth inning to shorten the 10-run rule Heritage Christian of Georgia. Henry Foster struck out 11 for the win, while going 3-for-3 from the plate. Alex Dean had three hits and Ethan Efferson had two.