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Oran nips Bernie, to face Advance for district title

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

CHAFFEE - In a close game it usually comes down to the team which makes the fewest mistakes.

That held true on Tuesday, as second-seeded Oran took advantage of a costly Bernie error in the fifth inning to squeak by the third-seeded Mules 4

-2 in a Class 1 District 2 semifinal game at Chaffee.

The win kept Oran's hopes of a fourth straight district title alive.

The Eagles (17-7) will play top-seeded Advance -- an 11-1 semifinal winner over Chaffee -- (17-2) in the championship game at 4 p.m. Thursday. The key play of the game came with two outs in the fifth inning.

A routine grounder off the bat of Chase Seyer was booted by the second baseman, setting the stage for the game-winning single by the next hitter, Joey Williams.

Oran returned the favor with an error with one out in the sixth, but the Eagles were able to get out of the inning with no harm done.

"We've been making a lot of mistakes lately," Oran coach Mitch Wood said. "The thing that helps us is if we make a mistake, we don't get down." Having reached the state final four the past three years, Oran showed its playoff savvy against the Mules.

After struggling early against Bernie starter Marcus Massey , the Eagles finished with eight hits overall. Trevor Irwin belted a pair of RBI doubles, and Ryan Bouge also had a pair of hits for the Eagles.

All four Oran runs came off two-out hits.

"Our kids did a good job hitting the baseball. They got some timely hits," Wood said.

Winning pitcher Austin Dumey pitched 5 1/3 innings. He allowed two runs on seven hits, issued two walks and struck out three.

Seyer relieved with a runner on in the sixth and was able to get out of a two-

on-one-out jam. Seyer finished with three strikeouts and allowed one hit. "He was a freshman that pitched the state championship game, so when it comes to nervousness, he's ready to play," Wood said of Seyer.

The Eagles will face top-seeded Advance on Thursday. The Hornets defeated the Eagles 8-5 in an earlier meeting this season.

"We're, for the first time in a long time, the underdogs going into it," Wood said of Thursday's district championship.

The Hornets had little problem dispatching the host Red Devils. Advance jumped on fourth-seeded Chaffee (7-14) for five runs in the first inning. The Hornets touched starter Chris Hanback for six hits in the first inning.

Two walks, a hits batsmen and two errors also played a big part in the uprising. James Masters had the big blow with a two-RBI single.

Meanwhile, Hornets starter Trent Moses cruised through the Chaffee lineup. Moses allowed six hits, struck out 11 and did not walk a batter in six innings. The Advance sophomore improved to 6-0.

"He was around the strike zone," Advance coach Bob Moses said. "That's big -- no walks. That's what you want your pitcher to do."

Jeremy Limbaugh led Advance's 14-hit attack with a 3-for-5 performance, including a two-run home run over the center-field fence to end the game in the sixth. Cody Roper added three hits for Advance.

Kevin Adkins, Moses and Rusty Hendricks had two hits apiece.

"The kids played a pretty complete ballgame," Moses said. "I was happy with the effort."

Advance, which lost to the Eagles in the district finals last year, is looking for its first district title since 2002.