Briarwood knocks off Oak Mountain in Kynerd tourney

Published 3:12 pm Thursday, February 20, 2014

Oak Mountain's Skylar Gossett drives a ball up the middle in a 7-2 loss to Briarwood Christian Feb. 19. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

Oak Mountain’s Skylar Gossett drives a ball up the middle in a 7-2 loss to Briarwood Christian Feb. 19. (Reporter Photo/Drew Granthum)

By DREW GRANTHUM/Sports Writer

NORTH SHELBY — The Briarwood Christian Lions baseball team used a three-run fourth inning to rally past Oak Mountain for a 7-2 victory in a Feb. 19 matchup in the Jay D. Kynerd Tournament.

The game took on the appearance of a pitcher’s duel early, as both Oak Mountain’s Blake Schilleci and BCS’s Cleveland Milstead pitched shutout ball through the first two innings.

In the third, the fundamentals of small ball took over, as Oak Mountain’s Skylar Gossett reached on an error. Gossett then stole second to advance into scoring position, and took third on a groundout by Joseph McCormick. After a pitch found its way to the backstop, Gossett advanced home to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.

Briarwood responded in the bottom of the frame, as Brayden Housel led off the inning with a single. He moved to second on a Tim Roberson sacrifice bunt. Ethan Simmons then singled to move Housel to third, placing runners on the corners with one out. Wes Hardin’s sac fly brought Housel in to tie the game at 1-1.

Oak Mountain answered back in the top of the fourth. Pearce McGee led off the inning with a single. E.J Alsbrooks followed with a single. Another loose ball to the backstop led to both runners advancing, and after Brandon Whitaker grounded into a fielder’s choice, McGee scored to make it 2-1 Eagles.

Milstead was able to escape the inning with just the one run, and led of the bottom of the fourth with a walk. Harrison Cain and Jake Morris also walked to load the bases. A fielder’s choice, and a throwing error on another fielder’s choice allowed all three runs to score, boosting the Lions to a 4-2 lead.

The Lions scored again in the bottom of the fifth when Cain and Morris scored on a Housel triple. Andrew Schaper added another run in the bottom of the sixth to give the Lions the 7-2 win.

Housel paved the way for the Lions batting, going 3-for-4 with three RBI’s and a walk. On the mound, Milstead went five innings with six strikeouts, four hits and two walks.

Blake Schilleci took the loss for the Eagles, giving up three earned runs across 3.1 innings.