Oak Glen fends off Weir High’s late rally to sweep the series
NEW MANCHESTER — With rival Weir High mounting a late comeback, Oak Glen head coach T.J. Miller turned to Garrett Brewer on the mound in the sixth inning to stop the rally.
Brewer got a strikeout to end the sixth, then got another to close out the ball game for the third out in the seventh and shut the door on the Red Riders for a 10-9 win.
“They fought back and, luckily, we buckled down,” Miller said. “Garrett Brewer came in and finished up. They got a little bit of momentum, and he came in, slowed them down and shut them down. It was a great team win.”
Oak Glen led by as many as seven runs before Weir High mounted a furious rally with a six-run sixth inning. Being a rivalry, Miller didn’t expect it to be easy.
“It definitely did (get close),” Miller said. “Weir always fights, and you can always expect them to fight back. They are a hungry group and a tenacious group. You expect a rivalry game to be close.”
For the Red Riders, the big hole, a large part of which was the result of early errors, was too much to overcome.
“When you are giving a lot more outs than you’re required to in game, you have dug yourself a really big hole,” Weir High head coach Jason Angle said. “(Tuesday), we talked about being able to play complete games, and that is the problem we are having. We are still trying to get to the drawing board and figure out how we can resolve that issue.”
Weir High committed seven errors in the game, five of which came in the first two innings. Just three of the Golden Bears’ 10 runs were earned.
“We had too many errors,” Angle said. “One is too many to me.”
After Jonathan Creese plated Michael Lemley in the first inning to open the scoring, Oak Glen tacked on five runs in the second. Catcher Konner Kerr had a three-run double, and Kaleb Dailey drove in a run with a base hit.
Weir High got on the board in the top of the third with a double by Cody Tate. Oak Glen then added two more in the bottom half after another Red Rider error, before each team knocked in two in the fourth. Reid Hoover had an RBI for Weir, while Jackson and Nick Chaney each plated a run for the Golden Bears, making it a 10-3 game.
Then, the Red Riders’ comeback bid shifted into high gear.
“Our guys hustled and took advantage of their mistakes,” Miller said. “We got a lot of extra bases from it. Our guys were focused and hit the ball hard.”
Sebastian Spencer drove in a run with a groundout, Hoover one with a single and Nick Paul hit a bases-clearing, two-out double for three more runs to cut the deficit to 10-8.
“Fortunately, our guys started to click together offensively and pick each other up, which put a little spark in the defense,” Angle said. “It put a little more spark into the atmosphere of the game, but it was a little too short.”
After Brewer replaced starter Josh Cline, Paul scored on a passed ball to make it a one-run game, before Brewer ended the two-out rally by striking out Tanner Mikula looking.
“Josh pitched a phenomenal game,” Miller said of Cline, who struck out seven in 5 2/3 innings. “Weir got on him a little bit at the end. I might have left him in a little too long, but I can’t say enough about how well he pitched.”
Luke Gillette singled to start the top of the ninth, but Brewer slammed the door shut, striking out Spencer looking on a full count.
“This is a great rivalry between two good teams,” Miller said. “This is a game that can hopefully get us rolling in the right direction. It is definitely a confidence booster. The kids were fired up and loved every minute of it.”
Oak Glen defeated Weir High at its place earlier in the season.
WEIR HIGH: Travels to Parkersburg South on Friday.
OAK GLEN: Hosts Brooke today at 5 p.m.
(Grimm can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Oak Glen 10, Weir High 9
Weir High 0-0-1 2-0-6 0 — 9-11-7
Oak Glen 1-4-2 2-0-0 x — 10-9-2
WEIR HIGH (8-10): Komorowski (LP, 6IP, 10R, 3ER, 9H, 3K, 2BB) and McUmar.
OAK GLEN (7-7-1): Cline (WP, 5 2/3IP, 9R, 4ER, 10H, 7K, 4BB), Brewer (SV, 1 1/3IP, 0R, 1H, 2K, 0BB) and Kerr.
TWO OR MORE HITS: Weir High (E. Gillette 3, Hoover 3, McUmar 2); Oak Glen (Dailey 2, Kerr 2, Bridges 2). DOUBLES: Weir High 2 (Tate, Paul); Oak Glen 2 (Kerr, Bridges). TRIPLES: none. HOME RUNS: none. RBIs: Weir High 7 (Spencer, Hoover 2, Tate, Paul 3); Oak Glen 7 (Dailey, Creese, Kerr 3, J. Chaney, N. Chaney).