Oak Mountain’s pitching leads to area sweep of Chelsea

Published 5:27 pm Friday, April 12, 2024

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By TYLER RALEY | Special to the Reporter

The Oak Mountain Eagles used a masterful pitching performance to sweep an area series with the Chelsea Hornets on April 9 and 11, combining for 23 strikeouts over both games.

The first of the two Eagle victories proved to be very low-scoring, but a phenomenal complete game outing from Bryson Morman helped put his team on top 3-1.

Oak Mountain made a statement quickly in the top of the first inning. After a Nicholas McCord single led things off and a sacrifice bunt moved him over, Peyton Parkinson sent a double into left field to score him and make it an early 1-0 game.

Kevin Jasinski followed that up with a single to put runners on the corners. Following a strikeout to record the second out of the inning, Kaleb Hester hit a single of his own to score the second run of the inning, giving the Eagles a great boost of positivity to begin the contest.

Following a quick second inning, Chelsea made a threat to come back in the top of the third. After a walk and an error put two runners on with one out, Caden Mims put down a sacrifice bunt to plate a run for the Hornets and cut the score to 2-1.

Oak Mountain did not let that last for long, though. Alex Harrison led the bottom of the third off with a triple to left field, immediately giving his team a scoring opportunity. This set Jasinski up to put a double into right field to score him, giving the Eagles a 3-1 lead.

Following this, the scoring stopped, mainly due to the fact that nine of the final 12 outs that Oak Mountain recorded came by strikeout from Mormon, and the Eagles ultimately secured the game one victory.

The second match of the series needed a little longer before the scoring opened up, but a great performance by Jasinski helped Oak Mountain take it 5-2 to secure the sweep.

The first four innings of the game featured a purely defensive battle, with both teams making plays left and right to keep the game scoreless.

That finally ended in the top of the fifth inning. McCord led the inning off with a double and advanced on a ground out, putting a runner on third with just one out. This gave way for Parkinson to bring him in with a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0 in favor of the Eagles.

After two strikeouts began the bottom half of the fifth, Aiden Craven battled back from two strikes down to draw a walk and give Chelsea some life. That set up Chase Lackey to double into right field, tying the game up.

As quickly as that positive energy came up, though, it went back down. The top of the sixth was filled with big momentum for Oak Mountain and disaster for the Hornets.

The Eagles drew three straight walks to lead off the inning before Xander Hughes drew another walk to make it a 2-1 with nobody out. McCord then got a free pass to make it five in a row and push the game to a 3-1 score.

After a strikeout finally recorded the first out of the inning, Parkinson put up a sacrifice fly to plate another Oak Mountain run. This led to Jasinski hitting a ground ball that turned into an error and scored another one to make the score 5-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth.

With nothing going in Chelsea sixth or the Eagle seventh, the Hornets attempted to make some noise in the bottom of the seventh. After two outs, Lackey drew a walk before Mims singled into center field to score him, cutting it to 5-2.

Unfortunately for Chelsea, a strikeout ended it immediately following that, securing a sweep for Oak Mountain.

Mormon’s outstanding pitching performance saw him throw 13 strikeouts across all seven innings of work. He gave up one run on two hits, while only walking two, as well.

Jasinski earned the win in game two after he pitched for 5.2 innings. He struck out seven batters, giving up one run on one hit and walking four.

This gave way to Harrison, who finished off the game with three strikeouts and one walk of his own, while only conceding one run and one hit.

Logan Moller took the game one loss for the Hornets. He went the distance in his outing, pitching all six innings, but could not get the run support. He gave up three runs on six hits, walking one and striking out 11 hitters.

Grant Hill was credited with the second loss. He pitched five full innings, striking out six and walking four. He gave up two runs on three hits for the day.

The Eagles moved to 21-10 with the two wins and improved to 3-1 in the area. Their next opportunity to build on that will begin Tuesday, April 16, as they begin their final area series of the year with the Hewitt-Trussville Huskies. Game one of that series is set for 5 p.m. at Oak Mountain High School.

Meanwhile, Chelsea drops to 19-13 on the year and 1-3 in the area. The Hornets hope to finish off strong in their final area matchups with Spain Park. The first game of that set will be played on April 16 as well, where first pitch will be at 5 p.m. at Spain Park High School.