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BUCKNER – The district baseball seeding race shook out a bit more Saturday in a triple-header at Oldham County High School.
OCHS came out the clear winner on the day with wins over South Oldham and North Oldham. SOHS claimed a win over NOHS as the Mustangs went 0-2 n the day.
“It was a big day for us,” OCHS coach Scott Gerlach said. “Not only did we get two wins, we got some good positioning in the district seeding.”
OCHS 5, NOHS 1 – After holding a 1-0 lead through much of the game, the Colonels’ Dan Dwinnells broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth inning with a bases-clearing double that put OCHS up 5-0.
It was Dwinnell’s second game back after suffering a shoulder injury the first week of the season.
“He came through at just the right time,” Gerlcach said. “We didn’t know how quick his turnaround would be after getting hurt, but he had it back today. It was a big hit that gave us all the momentum.”
Dwinnells’ hit was set up when Josh Kovach led off the inning with a groundball single up the middle off NOHS ace Jason Sterrett.
That was followed by a line drive single to left from cleanup hitter Brad Reinbold. Blaine Whitehouse loaded the bases when he reached on an error setting up Dwinnells’ shot to the gap in right center.
“Give Oldham credit, they hit with guys on base,” NOHS coach Matt Walker said. “We got guys on base a couple of different times and didn’t get a hit when we needed it, that was the difference.”
To the fourth inning, the contest was a pitcher’s duel between Sterrett and OCHS’ Ian Andrews. Both went the distance giving up seven hits while striking out eight and walking none.
“Both those guys threw a great game, their guy and our guy,” Gerlach said. “You really couldn’t ask for more out of a pitcher. We just happened to get the big hit.”
OCHS got on the board first with a run in the bottom of the first inning.
Leadoff hitter Adam Pontrich got the inning started with a groundball single up the middle and advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Jacob Wiese.
Pontrich scored when Kovach bounced a shot over the right field fence for a ground rule double.
NOHS scored its lone run in the top of the seventh.
Kent Rusch led off the inning by beating out a slow roller to second base.
Rusch went to second on a wild pitch, then to third when Nate Braden singled to right. He scored on a passed ball.
Andrews, however, regrouped and shut the next three batters down getting Austin Love on a groundball to second and Larry Parrella and Sterrett on fly balls to the outfield.
SOHS 10, NOHS 5 – The Dragons were able to pound out 10 hits and take advantage of eight walks by four different NOHS pitchers to gain a regular season split with the Mustangs.
The NOHS pitchers did manage to combine for 14 strikeouts, but walked in two runs.
SOHS got a solid outing on the mound from junior Roy Francis who threw six innings. He gave up 10 hits, struck out six and walked just two before giving way to Drew Nichter for the final inning.
The clubs traded runs and and the lead in the early innings.
NOHS scored one in the top of the first when Sterrett drew a walk, stole second and went to third on an overthrow on the play.
Sterrett scored on Nate Braden’s sacrifice fly to right field.
SOHS came back with two runs in bottom half off NOHS starter Mike Gant.
Daniel Pulliam walked to open the inning and went to third on Mike Davis’ double to right. Jordan Ellis drew a walk to load the bases. SOHS tied the game on Alex Sharrard’s short sacrifice to right on an over the shoulder catch by NOHS first baseman Nick Harley and Davis scored when Harley’s off balance relay to home got through to the backstop for a 2-1 lead.
NOHS came back to lead 4-2 in the second after Rusch opened the inning with a line shot single to right followed by a bunt single down the first base line from Parella.
Sean Cummings advanced both with a sacrifice bunt before Sterrett’s two-run single to left scored them both.
Sterrett advanced to second on the relay to home, then stole third and scored when the throw got into the outfield.
NOHS held the lead until the bottom of the third when the Dragons broke it open with seven runs.
Nichter drew a walk to open the inning followed by a single to left from Davis. Ellis was hit by a pitch prompting the NOHS staff to pull Gant in favor of Chris Tyler.
Sharrard tied the game with a single up the middle just under the glove of Rusch at second base and Franics made it 6-4 with a bloop single to right field.
Tyler came back to strikeout Nuttle and Sean Anderson before Kyle Dunn made it 7-4 with a line drive single to left field.
Pulliam followed that with a line shot single to left and Nichter loaded the bases with a bloop single just behind first base.
Davis made it 8-4 with a groundball single to left before Ellis drew a walk to make it 9-4.
NOHS’ final run came in the fourth when Love lined a single to right and scored in Sterrett’s deep shot to the gap in right center.
SOHS came back with a final run in the fourth when Francis led off the inning with a single up the middle, Nuttle and Dunn walked and Nichter drew a bases loaded walk.
OCHS 15, SOHS 5 – The Colonels used an eight-run fourth inning to get up 12-0 and break this one wide open on the Dragons as they completed a regular season sweep of SOHS.
The highlight of the inning came on a three-run home run from OCHS’ Dwinnells. The play was unusual in that SOHS right fielder Kyle Dunn made an athletic, leaping scale of the fence and actually caught the ball only to see his glove fall over the fence with the ball in it.
“That was kind of a goofy play in that it was so weird,” Gerlach said. “The Dunn kid just made a fantastic catch and then had an incredible piece of bad luck. We were fortunate on that one for sure.”
Gerlach credited a strong five-inning pitching performance from freshman Taylor Riggs and a good first inning in the win.
Leadoff hitter Pontrich and No. 2 Wiese both singled to open the inning followed by a two-run double from Reinbold that put the Colonels on the right track.
“That was super important,” Gerlach said. “Especially with South being fresh off a good win.”
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