(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
ORAN -- Finding out he was starting on the mound only 20 minutes before the game, Oran senior Zac Chasteen gave the Eagles the performance they needed to get past a Chaffee lineup that's scored 17 runs in their last two games.
Holding the Red Devils to only one earned run on three hits and five walks, Chasteen added a solo home run at the plate to help propel Oran to a 3-2 win.
"He did a great job," Eagles' coach Mitch Woods said. "He basically made one bad pitch for that one run batted in, but for the rest of the game he did great I thought. He threw hard the last three innings.
"He had some arm trouble last year. So for him to have a complete game like he did this year that's big for him."
Jumping on top early, Oran's first two hitters of the game found their way on base before Nolan Urhahn stepped to the plate with two outs and runners on second and third.
Urhahn hit an offering from Chaffee starting pitcher Alex Davie down the third base line and into the outfield to score both runner to give the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
"(Urhahn) hit an exceptional changeup," Red Devils' coach Brian Horrell said. "I thought Davie made a tremendous pitch there and the kid got it off the end of the bat.
"He had him out in front, but he did enough to keep it fair right past our third baseman for two RBIs there in the first inning and it turned out to be huge."
Two innings later, Chasteen helped his own cause when he hit and scored what ended up being the game winning run. Starting off the bottom of the third, Chasteen sent a shot over the left field fence, just left of the scoreboard, to put his team up by three.
"It felt good," said Chasteen. "I'm not saying it won us the game because Nolan had two great RBIs, but it definitely helped."
Though they entered the final two frames still trailing, the Red Devils were able to close back to within one of the Eagles with runs in both the fourth and fifth innings to make it 3-2.
Still searching for that elusive tying run, however, Chaffee stranded a runner on first with one out in the sixth, before going down in order in the seventh to end the game.
"We got down early, but we battled back," Horrell said. "We had opportunities, we just couldn't get a big timely hit today and that was the biggest thing.
"If you're going to play a good ball club like Oran's got and you're going to be in a tight ball game you have to come through when you got the opportunities."
With three hits on the afternoon, the Red Devils were led by freshman Cody Payne. Going 2 for 4 Payne doubled and singled while driving in Chaffee's only earned run in the fifth. Andrew Terhune had the team's only other hit.
Leading the Eagles' four hit performance, leadoff hitter Kody Moore was 2 for 4 on the night with a pair of singles. Oran's other two hits came from Urhahn and Chasteen with their above mentioned double and home run respectively.
In picking up the win, Chasteen went all seven innings, throwing 102 pitches while striking out six.
"That was probably best I've felt in a couple years now," Chasteen said. "All my pitches worked. I left a few over the middle, but other than that I did a great job I think."
Oran improves to 16-1 on the season while Chaffee drops to 16-4.
Chaffee 000 110 0 - 2
Oran 201 000 0 - 3
WP -- Zac Chasteen. LP -- Alex Davie. 2B -- (C) Cody Payne; (O) Nolan Urhahn. HR -- (O) Zac Chasteen.