Oak Glen boys to face Weir in elimination game
PLEASANT VALLEY — Garrett Wilkerson and Brandon Corley each came through with two-run hits, while right-hander Broderick Rohrbaugh turned in a complete-game effort to lead East Fairmont past Oak Glen, 5-3, in the first round of the sectional baseball playoffs at East Fairmont High School.
The Bees will face the winner of today’s Fairmont Senior vs. North Marion game on Wednesday, while Oak Glen will slide into the loser’s bracket and host Weir at 5 p.m. today.
“It’s always good to come out and get that initial one,”East Fairmont head coach Joe Price said. “That was a really gutsy win on our guys’ part. It was just a gutsy win.”
Rohrbaugh threw seven innings, allowing three runs on nine hits and a walk, while striking out five. Golden Bears starting pitcher Josh Cline lasted just 3 1/3 innings and allowed five runs on three hits, while walking three, hitting four and striking out eight.
Garrett Brewer threw 2 2/3 shutout innings in relief, striking out four and walking just one.
“It feels like we’re in the driver’s seat now,” Wilkerson said. “We’ll just try to take it and run with it. That’s a tough game against one of the tougher teams in the sectional.”
Oak Glen was the first to draw blood in the top of the fourth. Catcher Konnor Kerr led the inning off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. He then scored easily on a double by Brewer — who began the game in right field — to scratch across the game’s first run.
Two batters later, Oak Glen added to it. With Brewer at second and two outs, centerfielder Hunter Patterson hustled out an infield single toward shortstop Chance Rundle, whose throw to first base was misfired and allowed Brewer to race all the way home. Patterson then advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored the third run of the inning on a single by left fielder Kaleb Dailey.
It put the Bees in a precarious position, down three against a starting pitcher who had allowed just one ball in play over the game’s first three innings. But, after three innings of struggling heavily at the plate, East Fairmont finally took advantage of a bit of wildness by Cline in the fourth.
Cline hit two batters and walked another in the third inning but managed to strand the bases loaded. His luck ran out soon after, however, as he hit two more batters with one out in the fourth, prompting a brief delay. East Fairmont players and parents alike began to express frustration with the growing list of hit-batters.
“Cline had a couple of balls get away from him, but he wasn’t trying to hit anybody intentionally,” Price said. “The ball got loose on him and, fortunately for us, we put together some good at-bats and scored some runs as a result.”
Following the delay, Cline wasn’t the same. After holding East Fairmont without a hit over his first 17 batters faced in the game, he finally relented on a fastball over the center of the plate to designated hitter Peyton Sarsfield, who turned on it and roped a single to left that loaded the bases. Second baseman Garrett Wilkerson then stepped in and hit another fastball in the air to right field, which fell in for a two-run double.
“We knew he was trying to live on the inside corner, so everybody in the dugout knew to crowd the plate and he’d get a little flustered,”Wilkerson said. “In my at-bat, I saw they were hugging right-center, so I just tried to set my foot and go that way with it.”
Centerfielder Brandon Corley ripped the Bees’ third straight hit to left field, scoring another pair of runs and giving his team its first lead of the game. Corley then stole second and advanced twice more on wild pitches to give East Fairmont a 5-3 lead.
Brewer stepped onto the mount to quiet the damage from there, but Rohrbaugh locked in as well. He retired eight batters in a row between the fourth and seventh innings and worked around a pair of hits in the seventh to keep Oak Glen off the board and preserve a win.
Dailey and Brewer each finished 2 for 3 with an RBI for Oak Glen, and Cline was 2 for 4. For the Bees, Wilkerson doubled and walked, while Hissam reached base twice on two walks. Sarsfield reached twice on a single and a hit-by-pitch.