(Photo by Chris Pobst, Staff)
CHARLESTON -- The Charleston Squirrels overcame a four-run deficit early in the first inning to eventually defeat Oran 16-6 on Monday night.
Struggles from Charleston's starting pitcher Dustin Brister led to Oran's four runs as Brister couldn't find the strike zone. Brister gave way to Brandon Peters while giving up two runs on one recorded out as well as leaving the bases loaded.
"We struggled for a while," Squirrels coach Matt Bucher said. "Anytime you have a pitcher struggling to throw strikes, the whole team is going to struggle offensively or defensively."
With Peters in the game, Charleston began to turn things around. The Squirrels tied the game at four runs apiece after the second inning. They took the lead in the bottom of the third with another four-spot.
"Peters came in and threw the ball well with a lot of strikes and it seemed to pick the kids up," said Bucher.
Charleston scored once in the fifth inning and four more times in the sixth. After one more run in the seventh, Charleston's Nathan Maynard ended the scheduled nine inning game in the eighth with a 2-RBI double to right-center field.
This was the Squirrels' first game in over a week.
"Anytime you have a long spell like that kids are always going to lose it," Bucher said. "It showed tonight that we haven't picked up a baseball in a while but, it was a good break for the kids.
"We just have to get back into things again."
Zach Rowland, Sam Johnson and Ethan Browning led the Squirrels with two hits apiece. Peters helped himself with a bases-clearing single that managed to squeeze by Oran's left fielder.
The extremely youthful Oran squad featured four future freshman in their lineup. Coach Adam Friga said although his team was defeated, the most important thing was the experience his players received.
"We got beat tonight but that's only the half of it," Friga said. "We have a lot of young kids doing a lot of good things. They're learning a lot and that's why we're out here. We're going to play everybody and it gives us an indicator of what people can do in certain spots.
"We're getting out of it what we need and as long as they're competing, it's only going to get easier."
Oran 400 100 01 -- 6
Squirrels 044 014 12 -- 16
WP -- Brandon Peters. LP -- Dalton Elfrink. Multiple hitters -- (C) Zach Rowland 2-2, Sam Johnson 2-4, Ethan Browning 2-3. 2B -- (C) Nathan Maynard.