(Photo by Brent Shipman, Staff)
ORAN -- Now that they've secured their second-straight Class 1, District 2 championship, the Oran Eagles can set their sights on Monday's sectional opponent, the Cooter Wildcats.
The two teams met earlier this season on April 10 at Cooter with the Wildcats pulling out an 8-7 win in a game that featured 15 errors.
Giving his team the win was Cooter's Brandon Bridges. He pitched a complete game for the Wildcats while Seth Ressel got the loss for Oran in relief of starter Dalton Elfrink.
Jordan Anderson and Patrick Ward were each 2 for 4 in the game with a double apiece for Cooter while Ressel was 2 for 3 and Alex Heuring 1 for 3 with a 2-RBI double.
"They beat us once already this year," Oran head coach Mitch Wood said. "So we're definitely, I would think, the underdog. We're at our place so that's going to help.
"I'm looking forward to a big game with them. It always is so if our kids can't get up for that then we'll go home and do something else."
While Cooter has the regular season edge, history is on the Eagles side. Monday will be the fifth time in the last 10 seasons Oran and Cooter have faced off in sectionals with the Eagles prevailing in the previous four.
Standing at 17-8 on the year, Oran has a formidable top of the order that's led by cleanup hitter Blake Carlyle. As a senior Carlyle has .443 batting average on the season with a team-high 35 hits and 27 runs driven in. He also scored the game-winning run against Bernie in the Class 1, District 2 finals to put him at 27 runs scored this season.
Junior leadoff hitter Kody Moore is batting .386 with 31 runs scored and 27 runs driven in. He has a team-high four home runs, eight doubles to go along with three triples. In the No. 2 spot Ressel, a sophomore, has a .410 average while scoring 35 runs and driving in 11.
Junior No. 3 hitter Heuring and senior No. 5 hitter Elfrink are batting .300 and .327 respectively while freshman Jacob Priggel, who hit the game-winning single against Bernie, is batting .343 with 14 runs driven in.
As a team the Eagles are batting .305 with a .421 on-base-percentage. Cooter has a team average of .360 with a .467 on base percentage.
The Wildcats, who stand at 21-5 on the year, are led by leadoff hitter and senior right fielder Ward, who is batting .420 on the season. He leads the team with 30 runs scored and 17 stolen bases in 18 attempts.
Anderson bats .439 and leads the Wildcats with 26 RBI and three home runs. Bridges leads the team with a batting average of .444 and has 23 RBI. Catcher Dustin Franklin is batting .380 with 13 RBI and 7 doubles.
Junior center fielder Jesse Rayburn bats .357 while Dustin Smith hits .379 with 15 runs scored and 11 RBI and Chase Walker bats .327 with 11 RBI.
Bridges leads the Wildcats on the mound with a 6-1 record with a 2.77 ERA. Anderson is 4-1 with a 1.65 ERA and Taylor Tolson is 5-0 with a 3.50 ERA.
Oran is led on the hill by Elfrink who has a 6-1 record with a 2.50 ERA. Ressel is 4-2 with a 2.81 ERA while Moore is 3-1 with a 2.92 ERA.
As a team, Oran has a 2.62 ERA while Cooter has a 2.51 ERA.
Weather permitting the two teams will face off at 4 p.m. on Monday at Oran High School
"Cooter got us the last time we played them in the regular season," Oran's Carlyle said. "We're ready to play them (again)."