Oak Mountain takes 2 of 3 games from No. 2 Hoover

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor 

In a series that featured a little bit of everything, the Oak Mountain Eagles were able to split their two area games with the Hoover Buccaneers, while winning an important tie breaker game as well between Wednesday, April 10, and Thursday, April 11.

Winning game one and losing game two of the series, the Eagles moved to 2-2 in area play after splitting their area series with Thompson the week before. In that series, Oak Mountain lost the tiebreaker, while this time around, the Eagles were able to win the final game. All that means, is should Oak Mountain end up in a tiebreaker in the final standings with Hoover, they’ll have the edge for a playoff spot, while Thompson would have the edge over the Eagles.

Against Hoover, Oak Mountain found itself in a pitchers dual in game one of the series, but Jackson Kimbrell was unhittable and led the Eagles to a 1-0 victory. A night later, OMHS still struggled to get its bats going in the second game of the series getting shut out 7-0, but then bounced back with a 5-4 victory to close out the 2-1 series win.

A recap from the three games is below.

Game 1: Oak Mountain 1, Hoover 0

Jackson Kimbrell has been lights out during his senior season and with one last guaranteed start against the Hoover Buccaneers, he made the most of the opportunity and willed his team to victory on the mound.

The Eagles only scored one run at the plate behind an RBI single from Ryan Reuse, but that was more than enough for Kimbrell, who gave up just one hit and walked only three batters in the game.

Of the 24 batters he faced, he struck out 10 of them and got the complete-game victory in 112 pitches.

Aside from Reuse, Caleb Ragland went 2-for-2 and scored the game’s only run to help play a big role in the Eagles’ victory.

Game 2: Oak Mountain 0, Hoover 7

In the second game of the series, Hoover’s pitching continued to perform solidly behind a complete-game effort from Daniel Swatek, while Oak Mountain struggled at the plate with just two hits.

For the first three innings of the game, it was closely contested with Hoover leading 1-0 after a run in the bottom of the first.

Starting in the fourth, however, the Bucs scored in three consecutive innings, including three runs in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in the sixth to pull off the 7-0 shutout.

Jake Rivers and Luke Percer had the only two hits for Oak Mountain in the win.

Game 3: Oak Mountain 5, Hoover 4

A combined seven runs in the final inning made the third game of the series the most thrilling, as the Eagles held on to pick up a narrow 5-4 victory—their second one-run victory of the three-game series.

Through the first six innings of the game, both teams put one run on the board with Hoover striking first in the bottom of the second, while Oak Mountain responded with a run shortly after in the top of the third on a sac fly from Ragland.

The three innings after that were deathly silent with no threat, but then that deafening silence from each offense led to an eruption of noise in the final inning of play.

In the top of the seventh, Oak Mountain unleashed a ton of frustration at the plate after struggling to find any success for nearly three games.

A big reason for the four runs the Eagles were able to score was because of their patience at the plate. They earned three walks in the first five at bats, while also getting three singles in the first seven at bats to break open the scoring and take a 5-1 lead into the bottom half of the final inning.

Hoover, however, had an answer in the home half thanks to a three-run home run from Peyton Wilson. The only problem with his homer is that it came with two outs in the inning and cleared the bases.

That freed up Hunter Hall on the mound as he forced a line out to pick up the final out of the inning and preserve the 5-4 win.

Ragland led the team with two RBIs despite no hits, while Jack Wilson led the Eagles with two hits. Percer and Fraser each added a hit as well, while Fraser and Reuse both had an RBI.

Hansen McCown got the win on the mound for Oak Mountain after going 6 2/3 innings allowing six hits and four runs while striking out five.