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Opp sweeps Straughn

Tenth-ranked Opp swept second-ranked Straughn Tuesday night in a doubleheader at Merchants Field in Opp.

Opp seized the first game win with back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning during the 8-1 first-game win.

The Bobcats surged ahead 9-0 in the second inning scoring six runs to win the second game, 13-3 in five innings.

The Bobcats improve to 19-2 on the season.

“Straughn has a great team and a great coach (John Fussell),” Opp coach Michael Cassady said. “We needed games like this to see how we are. My hat is off to them.

“They have a good team and they will do well in their area,” he said. “If they don’t win it, then they’re going to do well in the first round and will move on. I wish coach Fussell all the luck in the world, but I’m proud of my kids. They are playing hard and are doing the little things right and all that I ask of them.”

Opp 8, Straughn 1

Straughn scored its only run in the first game in he fifth inning on an RBI from Chase Short to score Zack Lunsford.

“I thought Zack Stinson threw four solid innings, we’re down by one run in the fifth inning and have an 0-and-2 count and we hit a batter,” Fussell said. “After that, the wheels came off. They got fired up and we didn’t. They have some good baseball players and have a good team and are well-coached.”

Opp’s Zack Sasser and Gavin Free both had home runs to add four runs to their team’s tally in the fifth inning.

Sasser’s home run was a three-run shot and Free’s was a solo home run.

In the sixth inning, the Bobcats scored two runs on two hits, one walk and one error.

To start the game in their favor, the Bobcats went up 1-0 on a lead-off solo home run by Josh Thompson.

By the second inning, Opp scored an additional run to lead 2-0, until the four-run fifth inning.

Thompson earned the win on the mound for Opp. He was 2-for-4 with one home run, one single, one run and one RBI; Banks was 2-for-4 with one single, one double and one run; Trey Short was 0-for-4 with one run; Sasser was 2-for-4 with one home run, one single, one run and two RBIs; Free was 1-for-3 with one home run, one run and one RBI; Lance Robbins was 1-for-3 with one single; and Britt Wilson was 1-for-3 with one single.

Opp 13, Straughn 3

The Bobcats scored six runs on four hits, three walks and two errors in the second inning to end up making way for the mercy rule on the Tigers in five innings.

To start off the second inning, Opp’s Steadman Gerber reached on a single.

After Gerber hit his single, Robbins hit a single and Britt Wilson was walked to load the bases. Then courtesy runner Hunter Wilson scored on an RBI single from Thompson.

Robbins then scored on a hit-by-pitch from Banks with the bases loaded.

Wilson scored on a walk to Dilan Ziglar.

Thompson then scored on a sacrifice grounder from Trey Short.

“We just didn’t play well,” Fussell said. “We didn’t hit the ball.

“Our season never hinged on us beating Opp and what happened last night still doesn’t change that,” he said. “It’s just a regular season baseball game. I think anytime you step on the baseball field, you’ve got to play with the same intensity whether it be a rivalry game or not.”

To end the inning, Banks and Ziglar came home on a two-run double from Gerber.

Straughn (22-5) scored scored one run in the third inning on a sacrifice fly from Chase Parker to score Luke Fussell.

Opp added two runs in the fourth and two in the fifth on six hits and two walks.

Straughn then scored two runs in the fifth on two hits, one of which was a two-run double from Cody Hughes.

Winning pitcher Gavin Free allowed three hits, two walks and struck out seven in 4.2 innings of work.

Cassady said he pulled Free from the mound not because he did anything wrong.

“Gavin did a nice job getting to the fifth inning,” he said. “I didn’t take him out for doing anything wrong — he had a pitch count I gave him, and we went over it.”

Thompson was 2-for-4 with two singles, one RBI and one run; Banks was 1-for-4 with one RBI and three runs; Ziglar was 1-for-3 with one RBI and two runs; Sasser was 2-for-4 with three RBIs; Short was 1-for-4 with one RBI and one run; Free was 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI; Gerber was 2-for-3 with one run and two RBIs; Robbins was 1-for-3 with one run and one RBI; and Wilson was 0-for-3 with one run.

For Straughn, Nick Allen was 1-for-3 with one single and one run; Drew Jones was 2-for-3 with two singles; Chase Parker was 0-for-3 with one RBI; Zack Stinson was 1-for-3 with one single; Hughes was 1-for-3 with one double and two RBIs.

Straughn will travel to Elba to play in a doubleheader today and Opp will play in Greenville.