Opp falls in 2nd round
MOBILE — The Opp Bobcats ended its season Saturday in the second round of the Class 4A state playoffs, falling to UMS-Wright in two games — 8-1 and 6-1.
After the weather caused play to be postponed until Saturday, both teams picked up where they left off — in the top of the second inning with one runner on base, Opp’s Britt Wilson at bat and the Bobcats leading 1-0 after a solo home run by Alex Banks.
“We lost two tough games,” Opp coach Michael Cassady said. “(UMS-Wright) got their hits at the big times. We had four hits in the first game and we only had one run. They had two good pitchers. You can say that the weather was a factor all you want, but you have to play both games. I’m not going to lie — it hurt us sitting around in the dug out for four hours here.”
UMS-Wright 8, Opp 1
Bulldogs’ winning pitcher Chase Williamson allowed one run on five hits and two walks and had nine strikeouts to help lead his team to a seven-run victory over Opp in the first game of the series.
Lee English got the scoring started for the Bulldogs on a two-run single scoring Nick Laskay and Robert Alexander. Laskay and Alexander reached on a single and a hit-by-pitch, respectively.
Designated hitter T.J. Dixon later came in on a double from Matt Sturdivant.
English and Tucker Ward lead in hitting with two RBIs each, batting 1-for-3 at the plate.
Dixon was 2-for-3 with two doubles, two runs and one RBI.
The Bulldogs’ (27-6) run in the fourth came when Dixon doubled, and Opp made a throwing error to allow Alexander in to score.
The four runs in the sixth inning came on a two-run single from Ward, an RBI from Stephen Zalophany and a double from Sturdivant.
The Bobcats (24-7) only recorded five hits in the first game.
Losing pitcher Gavin Free allowed eight runs on nine hits and struck out 14.
UMS-Wright 6, Opp 1
When it was all said and done and Opp finished its season Saturday night, Cassady told his players one thing.
“We’ll all go out together,” he said.
Opp scored its only run in the second game in the bottom of the first inning on a sac fly from Zach Sasser to score Josh Thompson.
UMS-Wright drew blood first in the top half of the first on a double from Sturdivant to score courtesy runner Will Majure.
Opp starting pitcher Britt Wilson held the Bulldogs to only one run until the top of the sixth with two outs, where Williamson hit a solo home run over the right field fence to start the scoring drive for the Bulldogs.
“It was a hard fought battle,” UMS-Wright coach Brett Boutwell said. “We knew it was going to be tough against their two guys (Wilson and Thompson) they had on the mound. Our kids fought hard — their kids fought hard. We felt like the home run by Williamson just sparked us in that inning.”
Laskay and Alexander later came in on a triple and single, respectively.
UMS scored its last two runs in the seventh inning to seal the deal on a double from Dixon.
“My hat is off to them,” Cassady said. “I’m proud of my kids on the year for winning the area, and nobody gave us a chance against Jackson. They’ve got a lot to be proud of.
“This was the first time we’ve won 20 games in 15 years. They played well,” he said. “I appreciate all of the fans from Opp coming out here. We had more fans out here than they did.”
Thompson was 1-for-3 with one double and one run; Gavin Free was 1-for-3 with one single; Sasser was 1-for-3 with one single and one RBI; Dilan Ziglar was 2-for-3 with two singles; and Banks was 1-for-3.
Dixon was 2-for-3 with three RBIs; and Williamson was 2-for-4 with one home run, two runs and one RBI for UMS-Wright.
Wilson struck out eight in the loss.