Oak Mountain salvages area win against Thompson
By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor
NORTH SHELBY – Despite dropping the series 2-1, the Oak Mountain Eagles were able to pick up an important 10-3 victory over the Thompson Warriors in the second game of the series to start area play 1-1 overall.
Having lost to the Warriors 2-0 in a tough battle on Tuesday, the two teams met for a doubleheader to close out the series on Friday, April 5. The Eagles picked up a 10-3 victory in the first game of the doubleheader before dropping a 2-0 game in the night cap.
The first of those two games, however, is the only one that currently matters in the area standings, unless there is a tiebreaker between the two teams to determine a playoff spot at the end of the regular season.
With both of Thompson’s wins in the series coming by finals of 2-0, including two runs in the final inning of game three to break a scoreless tie and pick up the win, Oak Mountain took advantage of its bats being alive in game two of the series.
Knowing that being 1-1 in area play instead of 0-2 with a ranked Hoover team being their next area opponent, the Eagles came out swinging in the second game of the series.
They not only scored two runs in the first inning to take the early advantage thanks to an RBI double from Jake Rivers and an RBI groundout from Landon Cato, but went on to score in four of the next five innings as well.
After a scoreless second inning, Oak Mountain tacked on one more run in the bottom of the third after Dylan Fraser grounded into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded.
Through the first three innings, the Eagles led 3-0, but had threatened to make that lead larger and over the next two innings that’s what they did thanks to three runs in each.
In the bottom of the fourth, Rivers hit another double driving in two more runs, then Cato followed two batters later with an RBI single to put the Eagles on top 6-0.
Thompson finally had an answer in the top of the fifth thanks to a double, triple and single in three straight at bats. The triple from Nick Freeman drove in one run and the single from Breydon Edmondson drove in one as well to cut the Oak Mountain lead to 6-2.
The Eagles, however, were playing to well at the plate. With three walks in the first four at bats, they had loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth with one out.
Jackson Kimbrell was then hit by a pitch to drive in a run. That was followed by a sac fly from Rivers, who added yet another RBI, while Caleb Ragland drove in the final run of the inning with an RBI single to put the Eagles on top 9-2.
Each team added one more run in the final two innings with an RBI double from Luke Percer giving Oak Mountain its 10th run of the game, followed by a solo homer from Carson Hobbs closing out the scoring for Thompson.
At the plate, Rivers had a game-high three RBIs after going 2-for-3, while Cato added two RBIs thanks to a 1-for-2 performance with two walks.
Jack Wilson also had a solid day going 2-for-2 with two walks and three runs scored. Percer, Kimbrell and Ragland each picked up a hit and RBI.
Jake Rivers got the complete-game victory on the mound allowing seven hits and three runs while striking out three.
Thompson was led by Hobbs with a 3-for-4 game featuring an RBI and two runs scored. Edmondson went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Freeman 1-for-3 with an RBI.