Opp holds on for extra-inning road win at Straughn, 3-2

Published 11:00 am Thursday, March 23, 2023

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In a contest that lasted 10 innings and came down to the final play, Opp edged Straughn, 3-2, in varsity baseball action Saturday, March 18.

The Bobcats pushed their record to 6-8, while the Tigers fell to 5-6 for the year.

Terry Davis and Riley Day led off the game with back-to-back walks. Davis stole second and third before Andrew Danford lined into a double play. Clark Gay kept OHS off the board with a groundout. Emory Melvin and Eli Guilford delivered singles with one out in the home half. Matt Ashberry gave SHS an early 1-0 lead with an RBI single. Colby Ballard then closed the frame with a strikeout and fielder’s choice.

Gay retired the side on 10 pitches in the second. Grayson Bush reached on a one-out error as an interference call ended the inning. Davis began a two-out rally in the third with a single and advanced to third on a miscue. Danford was hit by a pitch and loaded the bases, but Gay escaped the threat. Guilford delivered a two-out single but was stranded at first. Ballard opened the fourth with a walk and stole second. After Nolan Brown set up runners at the corners with a single, Jase Stanley evened the score on a squeeze bunt. Zayd Rogers and Taylor Sikes lashed singles in the bottom half before Ballard kept the score tied at 1-1 after four innings.

Neither side scored in the fifth. Hall opened the sixth with a double, and Brown followed suit as the Bobcats took a 2-1 lead. Gay earned a leadoff single before three straight outs sent the game to the seventh. Melvin took over on the mound and worked around a leadoff walk for a scoreless inning. SHS rallied with two outs when Guilford knocked a clutch RBI double and plated Melvin for a 2-2 tie. Ashberry and Gay walked until John Helms ended the inning with a groundout.

Danford started the eighth with a single, but courtesy runner Robbie Gafford was caught stealing. Melvin picked up the next two outs as Helms worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the frame. Neither team was unable to score in the ninth. Brown gave the Bobcats a 3-2 lead with an RBI single in the tenth. The Tigers did not go quietly and put together a pair of two-out hits from Kaden Wiggins and Layne Grantham. Saxby Radford followed with a single into right field as A.J. Coleman made a strong throw home. Wiggins slid across the plate with the tying run but was called out.

Brown paced OHS with a 3-for-5 day at the plate and had two RBIs, while Hall was 1-for-4. Helms earned the win with four innings of relief and allowed one run on four hits. Guilford led SHS at 3-for-4 with an RBI as Radford went 2-for-6 in the loss.

Straughn returns to action Thursday, March 23 with a JV/varsity doubleheader against W.S. Neal beginning at 4 p.m. Opp travels to Pike County for an area matchup Friday, March 24, starting at 4:30 p.m.