Oak Hall Eagles
The Oak Hall Eagles have scored at least 10 runs in five of their first eight games in the 2023 season.

Oak Hall Racks Up 20 Hits and 22 Runs in Four Innings, Dominates Riverside Christian

Twenty hits — most baseball teams can only dream about numbers like that. But the Oak Hall Eagles made that dream a reality in a flat-out offensive massacre Monday afternoon.  The Eagles crushed the Riverside Christian Wranglers in a 22-0 run-rule victory, and they only needed four innings to do it.

Jack Steen took care of business both on the mound and in the batter’s box. He pitched all four innings for Oak Hall and finished with a season-high nine strikeouts. He also only allowed a single hit in the process. At the plate, Steen went 4-for-4 while driving in three runs. Three of Steen’s hits ended up going for doubles.

Jack Kuzmicki played a major role of his own in facilitating Oak Hall’s offense. He also maintained a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate, picking up four RBIs along the way. Gavin Jones showed off his combination power and speed on offense with a pair of triples early in the game. To top off the offensive outpouring, Jackson Beach scored four runs for the Eagles.

Oak Hall Immediately Seizes Control

Steen swiftly set the tone of the game in the top of the first inning. Despite allowing a runner on first via a hit-by-pitch, he secured all three outs in the inning on strikes. With plenty of rest and time to prepare over spring break, Steen knew he would be able to come out cooking right out of the gate.

“[My] fastball outside was working,” Steen said. “I was working on a new pitch, a little splitter action. It was working pretty well, so I’ll add that to my repertoire.”

The Eagles caught fire offensively just as fast as they did defensively. After a leadoff walk and a pair of stolen bases from Jackson Beach, Oak Hall scored on just their second plate appearance of the game. Harrison Beach brought his brother home on a single into right field.

Jack Kuzmicki knocked in an RBI-single of his own in the following at-bat. Darion Medley then followed him up with a walk as well. Next up: Troy Freeman. While he normally serves as Oak Hall’s go-to man on the mound, Freeman got some action in the batter’s box today after getting the start at third base. He took advantage of the opportunity, belting out a deep ball into center field to secure a triple and bring both runners home.

As if the Eagles had not already started off strong, Freeman’s triple just added more fuel to the growing fire. Steen knocked in a double to score Freeman. Jones blasted out a triple into right field to score Steen. Neil Ruth chipped in with a pop fly double to score Jones. Ruth then made it home on his own via a passed ball in the following at-bat. Oak Hall’s first eight batters had all scored before the ninth at-bat concluded.

Pouring It On

Jackson Beach once again walked when he returned to the plate. Kuzmicki then drove him home on a double into left field. As the first inning came to a close, Oak Hall already had a 9-0 lead.

The second inning just proved to be more of the same. Steen tallied up another three strikeouts, this time sitting down the Wranglers 1-2-3. Once again, the Eagles then managed to score within two at-bats in the bottom of the inning. Freeman led off with a hard-hit double into left, and Steen brought him home with a double of his own.

Jones followed up with his second triple of the day to score Steen. He nearly turned the corner on third, hoping for an inside-the-park home run. Nevertheless, he held up and stuck with his triple. Jones ended up scoring on a sacrifice fly from Neil Ruth one at-bat later.

Oak Hall then proceeded to knock out five consecutive hits. Brody Beaupre singled into right field. Jackson Beach popped a ball just past the infield to land on first. Harrison Beach belted out a ball into right to drive in a run. Kuzmicki nailed a line drive into left to score another run. Finally, Darion Medley blasted a hit into deep center field to tack on another two runs. 16-0, Eagles.

After Freeman made it on first via a walk, he advanced to second as Medley scored on a wild pitch. Freeman then made it to third on a passed ball. Eventually, he made it home on Steen’s third double of the day. Steen went on to score on a fielder’s choice from Taylor Brown, who had entered the game for Jones. By the end of the second inning, the Eagles had grown their lead to 19-0.

Putting a Bow On Top

Steen picked up another two strikeouts in the top of the third, with the final out of the inning coming on a fly out to center. By now, the Eagles had begun toning back their aggressiveness on offense. With that said, they still managed to put more runs on the board.

After another leadoff single from Jackson Beach, Kuzmicki knocked a line drive into left field to pick up Oak Hall’s 20th run of the game. While he felt pretty good about his individual performance, Kuzmicki could not help but feel proud of the entire team’s offensive showcase on Monday as well.

“We killed it on offense… It was a great day all-around, we didn’t make any errors and everyone was hitting the ball,” Kuzmicki said. “It was a good team win.”

Freeman and Steen later made it on base via a hit-by-pitch and single, respectively. Steen’s single managed to score Kuzmicki as well. Aaron Akins then stepped into the batter’s box and blasted out what may have been his most powerful hit as an Oak Hall Eagle. The ball flew deep into left field and landed fair. As Akins trotted towards second base for a double, Steen landed at third and Freeman scored with ease.

Akin’s big hit proved to be Oak Hall’s last hurrah on the bats that afternoon. Steen took back to the mound in the top of the fourth. Although he gave up his first hit of the day on a hard ground ball into center field, he kept his composure and finished the Wranglers off with ease. Steen’s final out of the day came on a dropped third strike putout at first base. Ballgame. Eagles win, 22-0.

Back In Action Later This Week

Eagles Head Coach Kevin Maris had plenty of praise for the entire team after such an impressive victory. However, he singled out Steen’s performance on the mound as the highlight of the day.

“Jack stuck to business, doing what he needed to do,” Maris said. “He pitched to the glove, came out and threw a lot of strikes. He went right after them, he didn’t let his mental game waver.”

The Eagles will return to the diamond Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., where they will travel to take on the Eastside Rams.

About Jack Meyer

Jack Meyer is a third-year student at the University of Florida. He is majoring in Journalism and specializing in Sports and Media.

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