Oak Glen ralies to even sectional series with Red Riders

NEW MANCHESTER – Oak Glen scored six runs in the fourth inning and five more in the sixth to come from behind and defeat Weir High, 14-9, Tuesday in the Section 1, Region 1 tournament forcing a third and final game today.

The Red Riders, which opened the series with a 10-1 victory Monday at the Oak Glen Field of Dreams, jumped out to an early lead, but couldn’t hold on late in the game.

Sophomore lefty, Zack Porter, gave up eight runs and 12 hits, but kept the Weir High bats at bay when he needed to in earning the win.

“That probably was Porter’s worst outing of the year, actually,” said Golden Bear second-year coach Mat Deveaney. “He’s a young kid, a sophomore. He doesn’t throw hard, but has great location, though. He pitched well and kept us in the game. That’s what we needed.”

The Red Riders (5-13) opened the game doing what they had done Monday night – hit the ball.

They scored four first-inning runs as the first six batters reached base, four with base hits.

Senior Kody Knight opened the barrage with a double to left center field and his classmate, Mitch Viakely’s ground ball was misplayed. Junior William Larch drove both home with a double off the right center field fence, one of two to the same spot in consecutive innings.

Michael Curtis, who was the Weir High starting and losing pitcher, moved Larch to third with a grounder and freshman Jacob Rosnick followed with a rip up the middle to plate him. Rosnick promptly stole second and raced home on a Chris Russell bloop hit to right field.

“We started out on fire, but cooled off in the middle innings before a late surge,” said first-year Red Rider coach Jason Angle. “We didn’t get the type of pitching that Mitch (Viakely) gave us yesterday, but I have confidence that we’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”

Oak Glen, which pounded out 13 hits, all singles, struck first in the top of the opening inning when sophomore Alex Shuman led off with a single up the middle. Kyle Woodruff advanced him to third with a bloop single to right field and Shuman scored on an Alec Swiger bouncer to second base.

The Golden Bear sophomore connection of Porter, Shuman and Swiger led the way in the important victory. Shuman and Swiger each had three hits and scored two runs. Swiger had four runs batted in and Shuman drove home two.

Shuman led off the third inning with a hit, but Curtis picked him off of first base. Woodruff and Bub Haddox followed with walks and Swiger singled to left to score Woodruff. Haddox raced home on Mike Campbell’s sacrifice fly.

The Golden Bears sent 10 batters to the plate in the fourth inning. Derrick Haddox and Justin Bailey started things off with back-to-back singles. Curtis struck out the next batter for the only out he would get in the inning before leaving the mound and Shuman loaded the bases when he was hit by a pitch.

Woodruff was safe on an error, but his grounder plated Derrick Haddox. Bub Haddox followed with a sharp rap to right field that plated Bailey and Shuman. Swiger did the same thing sending Woodruff and Bub Haddox home. Swiger scored on a Campbell single to left field.

Freshman Michael Mills replaced Curtis and retired the side. But the Golden Bears touched him for five runs in the top of the sixth inning to put the game away. Bailey and Porter each had RBI singles with the bases loaded and Shuman’s single drove home two more.

“We didn’t get down when we were behind 4-1,” said Deveaney, whose team improved to 13-12. “We battled back and I was pleased with that.”

Weir High scored three runs in the sixth and another off of Shuman, who replaced Porter in the seventh inning.

Curtis knocked in two runs with a double in the sixth and freshman Jacob Rosnick followed with a double to plate Curtis. Jake Wypasek scampered home in the seventh on an Oak Glen error.

The deciding game of the series is scheduled to be played at 5 p.m. today at the Oak Glen Field of Dreams.