There will be a Game 3 between Oak Grove and St. Martin.
On the heels of a come-from-behind road win in Thursday’s Game 1, the Warriors were held in check by St. Martin starting pitcher Leo Harris for six of the seven innings played at Harry Breland Field in Friday’s Game 2. The Yellow Jackets (24-7) built a 6-0 lead in the sixth inning and went on to force a decisive game in the third round Class 6A playoff series, 6-2.
“He [Harris] pitched a good game, but I thought we were very, very flat,” Oak Grove coach Chris McCardle said. “There was a little game hangover from last night I think. Just wasn’t in it like we were yesterday.”
The Yellow Jackets took an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning with Harris leading off the game with a single and Leif Moore driving him in with a double. Oak Grove starting pitcher Turner Swistak followed with three straight scoreless innings, but the Warriors went down 1-2-3 offensively in three of the game’s first four innings.
“That guy [Harris] dominated the strike zone throwing fastballs, and we were taking a lot of pitches and not having good at-bats for whatever reason,” McCardle said. “I thought Swistak did a good job and kept us in the game. But when you make four errors and walk people, most of the time you’re not gonna win at this point in the playoffs.”
With two out in the top of the fifth, St. Martin extended their lead to 2-0 off one of those errors. The Yellow Jackets followed with four runs in the sixth. After back-to-back walks and a pair of wild pitches, Harris made it 3-0 with an RBI double, and RJ Fletcher pushed it to 5-0 with a two-run double. Brennen Study capped off the four-run inning with a sac-fly.
Oak Grove cut into that lead in the bottom of the frame with an RBI single from Alex Bolling and a sac-fly by Cade Cuevas, but that was it for the Warriors as they fell to 22-8 on the season.
Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday at 7 pm on the Coast. McCardle says the Warriors will have plenty of pitchers to use in the decisive contest, including Rhett Blackburn, Parker Harrington, Kris Jones and Ty Scott.
“We got some good guys left,” he said. “We gotta be able to put some runs across early.
“We got a lot of fight in us. We’ll regroup and be ready tomorrow.”