Bobcats earn split with Trojans

Published 12:02 am Thursday, February 27, 2014

Opp’s Britt Buckelew pitches during the Bobcats’ game against Slocomb last week. |    Andrew Garner/Star-News

Opp’s Britt Buckelew pitches during the Bobcats’ game against Slocomb last week. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Opp’s Bobcats knew the challenge they had before them when they faced defending Class 4A state champion Charles Henderson on Tuesday.

After a poor performance against Crestview, Fla. on Saturday, the Bobcats picked themselves up and went on to split with the Trojans from Troy in regular season action at Merchants Field.

OHS scored two runs in the seventh inning and won the first game 8-7. CHHS walked away from the night cap with a 5-3 victory.

“Our kids were up for the challenge and they responded well,” OHS coach Michael Cassady said. “I’m real pleased with how we pitched. (Opp pitcher Britt) Buckelew did a good job of mixing the pitches up and moving the ball in and out. It really had some of their real good hitters fooled.”

Cassady said Charles Henderson’s best player, catcher Chase Smartt who has signed to play at Troy University, didn’t have a hit on the Bobcats in both games. Smart went 0-for-3 in game one, and 0-4 in game two.

“Anytime we can keep him off the bases and pitch to him like we did, it’s a plus,” the Opp coach said about Smart.

Opp will be back in action against Brantley tonight.

BHS moved its game up with the Bobcats from Friday because its Lady Bulldogs will be playing for the Class 1A state basketball championship tomorrow morning.

Tonight’s single game is slated to start at 5.

Opp 8, Charles Henderson 7

With the bases loaded and a tie ball game, Opp’s Jacob Johnson hit a chopper to third, but the CHHS player slipped, which gave Orlando Lacey time to scoot home to score the winning run.

Every Opp Bobcat earned a hit in the first game. Holt Hall went 4-for-5; Eli Johnson went 3-for-4; and Johnson went 3-for-5 to lead the pack.

“We hit the ball real well,” Cassady said. “We really should’ve scored more runs in that game. We ran ourselves in innings, getting picked off or getting in some run down situation that we shouldn’t be in. We ran ourselves out of some innings.”

Tanner Duffell got the win for the Bobcats on the mound. Landon Hughes got the start and went four innings.

Charles Henderson 5, Opp 3

Johnson and Walker Messer had two hits each to lead OHS.

Cassady said the boys hit the ball well again in the night cap, despite the loss.

The Bobcats tallied nine hits for the game.

Ethan Davis pitched four innings, and Messer got some pitching time for the final three.

The game was tied 3-3 going into the seventh inning, where CHHS tacked on two runs in the top of the frame. Opp couldn’t get anything going in the bottom half.

“Charles Henderson had three unearned runs during the game,” Cassady said. “Our pitching was good.

“We had a couple bang bang plays that did’t go our way,” he said.

Cassady said despite the loss, the boys competed well.

“They competed for both games,” he said. “They didn’t back down fro the 4A state champions. (Trojans) Coach (Derek) Irons — he’s done an excellent job. When their kids get on the field, they expect to win.”