GLEN DALE - Following a trip to Myrtle Beach, in which Oak Glen was sitting with a 5-9 record, Head Coach Matt Deveaney's Golden Bears have suddenly turned things around with a very impressive six-game winning streak.
And with all-stater Bub Haddox leading the way once again, Oak Glen made sure that streak continued Tuesday night against John Marshall.
Haddox fired a one-hitter, fanning 10 and walking just two, and the Bears took advantage of an inopportune Monarchs' error to score three unearned runs in the fourth inning in cruising to a 5-1 victory over John Marshall at Monarch Field.
The victory pushes Oak Glen's record to 11-9 on the campaign while the Monarchs, led by assistant coach Roger Simmons, slid to .500 at 7-7 on the campaign.
"Going to the beach has really turned things around for us," Deveaney commented. "We have won six in a row now and things have been going very well."
The Golden Bears scored a run in the top of the first, but things could have been a lot worse for the Monarchs. After a lead-off Alex Shuman single, Kyle Woodruff reached on a two-base error before Haddox was intentionally walked.
Alec Swiger's seeing-eye single through the left side of the infield plated Shuman for a 1-0 score. However, starting pitcher Schuyler Callihan fanned the next hitter before inducing a ground-ball double-play on a 3-2 count to end the threat.
Oak Glen actually had chances in each of the first three frames, leaving runners in scoring position in all three, but coming away with just the one tally.
The Bears extended the lead in the lead in the fourth thanks in large part to John Marshall mistakes. Jakob Ford struck out but reached on a dropped third strike and an error at first with one down.
On a pitch in the dirt Ford took second on a third strike that should have been the third out in the inning. Alex Shuman's run-scoring single made it 2-0.
That was followed by Woodruff's RBI bloop double and Haddox's booming run-producing triple to left-center that made it a 4-0 Oak Glen advantage.
The Monarchs got a little help of their own in the bottom of the fourth when Trevor Hardesty walked with one out, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and continued home when the catcher's throw to first on a third strike was off line to cut the deficit to 4-1.
A lead-off error, John Marshall's third of the game, led to another run in the seventh when Tyler Click and pinch-hitter Michael Campbell followed with singles to make it a 5-1 margin.
In all, Oak Glen stranded 11 runners, eight in scoring position, while the Monarchs had a few chances as well, leaving runners in scoring position in four consecutive innings.
"That has been our story recently, we have been putting a lot of runners on base, and now always getting a big hit, but doing a good job of taking advantage of the other team's mistakes," Deveaney admitted. "And at the same time not letting them take advantage of ours.
"The big thing right now is that even on bad days when we haven't played as well as we should, we are playing well enough to win.
"Our top two pitchers are pretty good and that is the fourth or fifth straight complete game for Bub. He pitched very well, but he is hitting the ball very well right now also.
"Bub is a tough kid that controls the game and this is the type of effort we expect from him every time he takes the mound. He has already signed to play next year at West Liberty and I believe he will do very well at the next level, he is just a great all-around player."
Haddox threw 91 pitches in the contest while losing pitcher Schuyler Callihan went the distance and took the loss, with four Oak Glen runs being unearned. Callihan threw 105 pitches, 72 for strikes, whiffing five and walking three.
"Haddox pitched a heck of a game," Simmons said. "He was just all around the plate and threw plenty of strikes. But we have to be able to record outs when they present themselves and we have struggled doing that sometimes.
"Our kids played hard and competed, but Oak Glen has one of the nicest teams I have seen them have in awhile. This was the type of game that you knew going in runs might be at a premium so you can't give up easy ones."
Oak Glen 4, John Marshall 1
Oak Glen 100 300 1 - 5 11 2
John Marshall 000 100 0 - 1 1 3
OAK GLEN: Haddox (WP, 10K, 3W) and Reardon. Shuman 2S, RBI; Swiger S, D, RBI; Woodruff S, D, RBI; Haddox T, RBI; Porter D.
JOHN MARSHALL: Callihan (LP, 5K, 3W) and Whorton. Zelek D.