In a rematch of last year's Class 1 sectional matchup, the Cooter Wildcats got a little payback on the Oran Eagles with a 8-5 win in the first game on the day.
Cooter fell in the second game to the Dexter Bearcats, 8-1, in the round robin format. Dexter faced Oran at 10 a.m. on Saturday to determine the winner of the Oran bracket. Results from the tournament will be in Monday's edition.
Cooter scored six times in the second inning and got solid pitching from sophomore Aaron McCaig to defeat the Oran Eagles.
In the top of the second, the Wildcats loaded the bases for Charles Copeland in the eighth spot of the lineup. Copeland ripped an offering from Oran starter Steven Dooley over the left-center field fence for a grand slam home run.
With two outs in the same inning, Cooter (12-2) got a gift when the Eagle right fielder could not catch a routine fly ball, allowing a run to score and extended the inning. The Wildcats took advantage of the extra out, as Josh Hutton hit a two-out single driving in the sixth run for Cooter in the second.
"We didn't play very well today," said Oran head coach Mitch Wood. "We didn't pitch great and errors cost us the game. That happens sometimes in high school baseball. The error in right field and the misplay in the infield in the second was big. Can't allow those type of things to happen against a good team."
Oran's bats finally came alive in the bottom of the third inning against McCaig. Kody Campbell had the big hit for the Eagles with a two-run single that scored Jake Carter and Caleb Seyer. Tyler Beardslee drove in Campbell with a single. Oran trailed 6-3 heading into the fourth.
The Eagles defense deserted them again in the fourth inning. Oran committed two errors in the inning that allowed to more runs by Cooter to be scored. Corey Hinklin drove in Copeland with a single and scored on a fielding error by the Eagles first baseman. The Wildcats led 8-3 heading into the bottom of the fourth.
The bottom of the lineup for Cooter banged out four of their eight hits in the contest, including the grand slam by Copeland.
"We have some pretty good hitters from the sixth slot to No. 9 batter," said Cooter head coach Allen Crawford. "They put the bat on the ball and make the opposing pitchers work."
Oran (11-2) closed the gap to 8-5 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning with single tallies in the fourth and sixth innings. In the fourth, Alex Chasteen opened with a leadoff walk and scored on a RBI single by Seyer. In the sixth, Oran scored an unearned run on an error by the Cooter shortstop that allowed Carter to score.
Poor fielding by the Wildcats almost cost them the victory. Chase Seyer reached on a error by Cooter's second baseman to leadoff off the bottom of the seventh. After the next two Oran hitters flied out, Carter reached after getting hit by a pitch from McCaig.
The game seemed to be over after Cody Dirnberger hit a weak looper to the Wildcats second baseman. However, the fielder's concentration level waned and he dropped the soft liner. Oran had the bases loaded with Seyer up and two outs.
McCaig dug deep and showed maturity beyond his year's after the infield blunders by his Wildcat teammates. McCaig threw a fastball past Seyer for the final out of the game, as the Eagles left the bases loaded.
"Aaron hit his spots well today," said Crawford. "He is young and will be a good pitcher in a couple of years."
Copeland and Jeremy McCaig led the offensive attack for Cooter with two hits apiece. Aaron McCaig got the complete game win while striking out 10 and limited Oran to only five hits for the game.
"We got beat by the better team," said Wood. "We can't give up eight runs and expect to win. I think Dooley tried to overthrow early and he got the ball up. Once they started to hit, he dropped his head and we have to work on that."
WP - Aaron McCaig LP- Steven Dooley. HR - Charles Copeland (C). 2B - Chris Asmus. Multiple hitters - Cooter: Copeland 2-3, Jeremy McCaig 2-4. Records - Oran 11-2, Cooter 12-2.
The Dexter Bearcats pulled away from the Cooter Wildcats late in the contest and picked up a 8-1 win to end the first day of the Scott County Invitational.
Leading 4-1 heading into the top of the seventh inning, the Bearcats put together four straight hits off Cooter reliever Josh Hutton and scored four runs in the inning to put the game out of reach.
"Cooter is a good ballclub and they proved that against Oran," said Dexter head coach Brian Becker. "Our kids finally had a complete game today. We pitched well and our defense was solid."
Dexter (9-3) banged out 12 hits led by designated hitter Caleb Miller's three hits and took advantage of four errors by the Wildcats.
"Our defense let us down against Dexter," said Cooter head coach Allen Crawford. "The win over Oran was a big one for the boys and I think they lost a little focus in the second game."
The Bearcats scored a run in the top of the third inning off an error by the Wildcats shortstop that scored David Hessling from third base. Despite the error, Cole Smith picked up the RBI.
Cooter (12-3) tied the game in their half of the third on an RBI double from Josh Hutton off Dexter starter Thomas Espey that scored Corey Hinklin all the way from first base.
Dexter regained the lead in the fifth inning with two runs on two hits. Drew Pixley began the inning with a single and advanced on an error by the Wildcat shortstop. Cooter's defense disappointed them in the inning, as they committed two errors.
Miller drove in Pixley for Dexter's first run in the fifth. Kyle Cox hit a deep sacrifice fly that allowed Smith to score easily from third.
The Bearcats led 3-1 after five innings.
Smith extended the lead for Dexter with a RBI single in the sixth that plated Pixley.
"We haven't been getting timely hits of late and I am proud of the way our kids came through today," said Becker.
"We took advantage of some of their miscues and put the ball in play."
The big blow for Dexter in the four-run seventh inning was a two-run double by Tyler Moore. Cox also drove in a run for the Bearcats in the inning.
Smith went 2-for-5 for the Bearcats and drove in two runs. Cox and Moore also had two RBIs for Dexter.
Tyler Scott picked up the win for Dexter in relief of Espey. Scott went 3 plus innings and allowed only one hit, while walking two Cooter batters.
WP - Tyler Scott LP - Devon Barger. 2B - Cooter: Josh Hutton. Dexter: David Hessling, Tyler Moore. Multiple hitters - Dexter: Caleb Miller 3-4, Cole Smith 2-5. Records - Dexter 9-3, Cooter 12-3.
The Chaffee Red Devils baseball lost to Egyptian, Ill. in their first game in the Red Devils Classic at Chaffee, 6-3.
Chaffee struck out 12 times against Egyptian and could not rally from an early six-run deficit.
Egyptian led 6-0 after the second inning, as Chaffee starter Alex Orr struggled to find his command. In only one inning of work, Orr gave up four hits and walked four batters.
Andy Hendrix and Zach McDaniel led the Red Devils offense with two hits apiece.
WP - Ledbetter LP Alex Orr. 2B - Simmons (E), Capdwell (E). Multiple hitters - Egyptian: Simmons 2-3, Brasley 2-3. Chaffee: Zach McDaniel 2-3, Andy Hendrix 2-4.