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Golden Bears fall in sectional final

Oak Glen’s Cody Patterson takes a pickoff throw at first base as North Marion’s Cruz Tobin dives back during Tuesday’s game. (Photo by Anthony Fiuza)

NEW CUMBERLAND, W. Va. — The Oak Glen baseball team has faced their fair share of good teams in the last week and played well. However, that good fortune came to a screeching halt as the Golden Bears fell to North Marion, 10-1 in the Class AA sectional final on Tuesday.

The Colts, 16-8, scored four runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back as they advanced to the regional tournament.

Cole Malnick, Jace Rinehart, Cruz Tobin, and Mike Harris each had two hits for North Marion. Harris added a pair of RBIs as well.

“We just couldn’t really get it together. We’ve been through the gauntlet. We were a little sluggish to start and they took advantage of it,” Oak Glen coach Eric Hayden said.

In the third frame, the Golden Bears got on the board thanks to a Buck Franklin RBI single, which allowed Kholten Goodlin to cross home plate.

Rinehart also pitched a complete game against Oak Glen as he struck out eight Golden Bears and allowed one walk and three hits.

“We came in with the game plan that they already threw their No. 1 pitcher,” Rinehart said. “I don’t have to throw a no-hitter or anything. The team is going to pick me up and the team is going to score runs.”

The right-hander also stressed the importance of his North Marion teammates adding plenty of insurance runs.

“It’s a big weight of everyone’s backs,” he said. “Since we scored those runs, we don’t have to worry about making an error or making a fatal error in the game. It’s just a different ball game.”

Oak Glen posted a strong season at 14-11. The Bears knocked out Weir in the sectional tournament on Monday. They also eliminated Fairmont Senior on Saturday.

“Our coaching staff is proud of the way these kids competed here and all year, no matter who was in the other dugout,” Hayden said.

“I’m very proud of the way they came together this year. We weren’t supposed to be here anyway. We were first in the region, nobody thought we’d be there, so they’ve accomplished a lot of things. It just didn’t end the way we wanted it to.”

Oak Glen started southpaw Cody Patterson, who battled through 21/3 innings of work as North Marion scored four runs against him.

Patterson, a senior, said if his Bears keep working they should reach another level of competitiveness.

“They just have to keep playing in the summer and fall,” he said. “They just have to keep working and they’ll get there eventually.”

Game notes

¯ This was the second meeting between the Bears and Colts in the past week with North Marion winning both games.

¯ The two programs faced each other a grand total of three times this year with Oak Glen taking the first contest in mid-May.

¯ The Huskies have won four straight games.

NM: 4-0-0-3-1-0-2–10-9-2

OG: 0-0-1-0-0-0-0– 1-3-4

NM — Jace Rinehart, wp (7IP, 3H, R, BB, 8K).

OG — Cody Patterson, lp (21/3IP, 4H, 4R, 3BB, 3K), Hunter Patterson (42/3IP, 5H, 6R, 3ER, 3BB, 2K).

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