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Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014

Oran Final Four bound, again

Sunday, June 1, 2003

(Photo)
Ellington's Chris Jensen slides in safety after taking second base on a wild pitch. Defding is Matt Seyer.
ORAN - As expected, the Oran Eagles (22-2) rolled over Ellington's Whippets (15-6) Friday afternoon in the Class 1 quarterfinals.

The Eagles went yard three times while waxing off the Whippets 12-3. The nine-run victory was the most lopsided win in any Class 1 baseball quarterfinal game this season.

"I thought we played real well today," said Oran head coach Mitch Wood. "We got some key hits and the wind was blowing out a little bit, that helped one of our home runs."

"We just fell short today," said Ellington coach Hoffman. "Our number one guy was out, but Oran has a tough team. We lost a couple of guys last week and we have two freshmen playing on the infield, but we just didn't come out to play today."

Due to the coin toss, the Eagles found themselves the visiting squad, but it didn't phase Oran.

After Ryne Wood reached base, left fielder Trey Graviett then stepped in and belted one almost into the ditch beyond the left field fence.

Garrett Roslen would provide offensive fireworks in the top of the second as he too jolted one off of Ellington's Levin Cowin.

The Eagles' next offensive move would come in the fourth.

Tyler Nelson led off with a double and Roslen reached on an error.

After a sacrifice by Patrick Friga, lead off hitter Nathan Seyer banged one down the left field line for a double. That brought home Nelson and Roslen to make the game 4-0.

"We have different guys step up every game," said coach Wood. "Today, although it seemed minor at the time, Patrick got that bunt down and got the runners into scoring position. Without that, we would have only scored one run that inning."

Oran tacked on three insurance runs in the top of the fifth as Joey Bickings went yard and Roslen singled.

Things began to get a little hairy for Oran in the bottom of the fifth as starter Tyler Nelson grew fatigued and allowed back-to-back walks to two Ellington sluggers.

The first runner, however, would be mowed down while trying to take third.

Jonathan Swyres next stepped in and belted a double to right field to drive in Raymond Manis.

Cowin followed Swyres to the plate. Cowin hit a long fly ball to left that carried over the fence to make the score 8-3.

However, the big fly would prove to be a rally killer as Ellington would not get another runner past second following the home run.

Oran southpaw Trey Graviett holds part of the responsibility for that as he came in after the home run and struck out four hitters, walked no one and only allowed one hit.

"I would have probably left Nelson in any other time," said Wood, "but I wanted to mix things up a little bit and bring in the lefty. If that didn't work, then I planned to bring in Ryne."

One of the true killers of this match up, not counting the three home runs, was the number of errors. Ellington committed four defensive errors, while Oran committed none.

"I would stack our defense up against anyone else in the state," said Wood. "One through nine I think we have the best defense in Class 1 ball in the state of Missouri. Maybe there are some better positional players, but overall I think we are the best."

Coach Wood also talked about the "extras" that went on throughout the game today.

"I thought our kids really kept their composure well. I know there were a lot of things going on out there today that most people didn't see, but our kids did a great job of keeping themselves under control."

Oran now faces a new task -- changing over from a power hitting squad to a line drive offense. They were able to accomplish it against North Pemiscot, partly out of necessity, on Wednesday.

"We are just going to keep doing what we always have," said coach Wood. "We know that at Mizzou we are not going to be able to hit the ball out as easy. We are going to work a lot on hitting line drives and we are going to take a lot of grounds ball and fly balls."

On Wednesday, June 4, the Eagles will take on Concordia (17-2) at Columbia. To get to the state tournament, Concordia defeated South Nodaway (7-5) by a score of 5-4 and Leeton (16-7) 8-2.

On Thursday Oran will catch up with either Sparta or New Franklin.