(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
ORAN -- After the first three games of the regular season, the Oran Eagles still found themselves searching for their first home run of the season.
That all changed on Thursday when Kody Moore launched the first of four Oran homers against Charleston as the Eagles went on to win 12-2 in five innings on the mercy-rule.
"We kind of looked at ourself today, the coaches and I, and said we haven't even hit a home run (all year)," Oran head coach Mitch Wood said. "It's unbelievable because usually we'll show a little bit of power anyways. That all took care of itself today."
After two-and-a-half scoreless innings, the Eagles got things going right after a pickoff at first left them with two outs and nobody on. Stepping to the plate, Moore knocked a ball over the left field fence to put Oran on the board.
Making it back-to-back solo shots, Alex Heuring came up next and sent the ball over to quickly make it 2-0 Oran.
In all, eight-straight Eagle batters came across the plate in the third inning.
Chance Tenkhoff plated two runs on a before a three-run home run by Trenton Hency put Oran up 7-0.
"A couple I didn't think I would leave the yard, but they flew out of here pretty quick," Wood said.
After one final run scored on a Moore single, the Bluejays were able to stop the bleeding with a bases-loaded groundout to short.
Charleston responded with a two-run rally in the top of the fifth when D.J. Adams hit a two-out double to score runners from first and third.
Unable to keep the Eagles' bats down, however, Oran continued to pad its lead in the fourth when Tenkhoff pushed Blake Carlyle across the plate after Carlyle opened the frame with a triple.
After sending Charleston down, 1-2-3, in the top of the fifth, the Eagles entered the bottom of the frame needing only three runs for a mercy-rule win.
Moore brought in the first two with his second home run of the night before an Alex Heuring walk and an Adam Schaefer single left runners at second and third with no outs.
Closing things out, Carlyle hit a sacrifice fly to deep left, allowing courtesy runner Bear Hicks to tag and score from third.
"We swung at strikes instead of balls today and it turned out a lot better," Woods said. "Our pitch selection hadn't been very good, but I thought today I thought we did a lot better job.
"We still have a few that are struggling with it, but overall I thought our kids did a good job if hitting strikes."
Picking up the win, Tenkhoff went the full five innings. He allowed both Charleston runs, one earned, on five hits and no walks while striking out six.
"He did a good job," Wood said. "I don't think we had any walks and that was the key. If you don't walk any that's how things happen."
On finishing things out in five innings, Woods added, "We have four games this week so it's really nice for us because we have a kid in trouble a little bit, so he's not going to be playing.
"It hurts our pitching severely because he's one of our better pitchers. We needed that today."
With 13 hits on the contest, Oran was led by Moore, who went 3 for 4 with two home runs and four runs-batted-in. Schaefer, Carlyle, Tenkhoff and Hency.
For the Bluejays, who had five hits, Bruce Simmons, Michael Baugh, Houseman, and Cole Adams had a single each. Adam's two-RBI double was the team's only extra-base hit.
"We made a lot of improvements," Charleston assistant coach Ryan Ford said. "Chance (Maness) probably had his best outing of the year. Oran is just a good ball team. They hit the ball well and they're nothing you can really do about that."
Charleston 000 20 - 2
Oran 008 13 - 12
WP -- Chance Tenkhoff. LP -- Chance Maness. Multiple hitters: (O) Kody Moore 3-4, Adam Schaefer 2-4, Blake Carlyle 2-3, Chance Tenkhoff 2-2, Trenton Hency 2-3. 2B -- (C) Corey Adams; (O) Tenkhoff. 3B -- (O) Carlyle. HR -- (O) Moore 2, Alex Heuring, Hency.