Neil Ruth scoring for Oak Hall
Neil Ruth marches onto home plate after knocking out his first-ever home run as an Oak Hall Eagle.

Oak Hall Roars Back In Big-Time Victory Over Eagle’s View

After suffering back-to-back losses for the first time this season, the Oak Hall Eagles bounced back in style this week. On Thursday night, Oak Hall pummeled the Eagle’s View Warriors in a run-rule 11-0 victory in six innings.

The Eagles clicked on all cylinders throughout Wednesday’s win. Neil Ruth set the tone on offense with his first career home run early in the evening. From there, Oak Hall ended up knocking out seven extra-base hits on the day.

Darion Medley went 3-for-4 at the plate with a pair of doubles, while Harrison Beach went 2-for-4 with a double and a triple. Jack Kuzmicki, Gavin Jones and Jack Steen all chipped in with doubles of their own. Kuzmicki and Steen combined to drive in five runs on the day as well.

On the mound, Troy Freeman put forth yet another dominant performance. He pitched out five innings, only allowing one hit, one walk and zero runs. Steen then pitched in the final inning, surrendering just one walk along the way.

Oak Hall Heats Up On The Bats Right Away

The Eagles only needed one hit to score two runs in the top of the first. After Beach and Kuzmicki landed on base via a walk and a hit-by-pitch, respectively, Steen drove a deep ball into center field on the first pitch he saw. Both runners managed to make it home on the play, and Oak Hall immediately jumped out to a 2-0 lead.

After their offense put the Eagles in control early on, Freeman kept them there. After allowing a leadoff walk, he secured three consecutive outs in the bottom of the first to hang on to Oak Hall’s 2-0 lead.

In the following inning, Emory Ezzell reached first via a hit-by pitch early on. Neil Ruth then stepped into the batter’s box, looking to make something happen. He had been searching for a momentum boost at the plate for weeks now. On Wednesday, in this particular at-bat, he got just the spark he needed.

“Yesterday at practice, we were hitting a lot… And I finally figured out my swing, swinging confidently and all,” Ruth said. “I went up to the plate, and guys were telling me to not tense up and swing the bat like I do in practice. So I went up there, and I was having trouble, I had two strikes. I just got a pitch across the plate that he just left hanging, and the rest speaks for itself.”

With a mighty swing of his bat, Ruth blasted a line drive over the right fielder’s head and into the natural scenery behind the fence. He had finally secured his first home run, and at a perfect time too. The Eagles now led 4-0 in just the second inning, and they were just getting started.

Troy Freeman’s Glorious Return To The Mound

As the Eagles continued their offensive takeover, Freeman continued to hold down the fort defensively. He sat down the Warriors 1-2-3 in the second inning and only allowed a single hit in the third inning. That ended up as the only hit he allowed on the day, as he sat down six consecutive batters in the subsequent two innings. Oak Hall Head Coach Kevin Maris could not have been happier with his ace’s outing against Eagle’s View.

“To have Troy come back out [after being] under the weather last week, it was good for him to come out and have a gem like this,” Maris said. “Throwing a one-hitter against Eagle’s View, a quality team that is good year in and year out, is a big-time win for him.”

In his five appearances on the mound this year, Freeman has maintained a 1.273 ERA and 1.227 WHIP. He has also held opposing batters to a .173 average at the plate. When asked about his thoughts regarding his performance on Wednesday and throughout the season, Freeman kept his response short and sweet.

“I felt great today, especially on the mound,” Freeman said. “I’m just keeping up with the strikes and pitching well.”

The Eagles Stay Hot All Evening Long

Meanwhile, the Eagles kept their rhythm offensively following Ruth’s homer. In the fourth inning, Ruth and Jackson Beach secured back-to-back walks and a pair of stolen bases to give Oak Hall two runners in scoring position. Kuzmicki capitalized on this with a two-RBI double into right field that nearly exited the yard.

Medley followed this up with another double into center to score Kuzmicki. Following a walk from Steen, Jones sent out yet another deep ball into center field to drive Medley home. Steen and Jones wound up stranded on the bases after a pair of strikeouts ended the inning, but the Eagles had managed to double their lead in just the fourth inning alone.

One inning later, Ruth knocked in a leadoff single to land on first. After Jackson Beach replaced him via a fielder’s choice, Harrison Beach belted out a triple into right field to score yet another run for the Eagles.

Oak Hall’s offense died back down before they could do any more damage in the fifth. However, they managed to tack on two more runs in the sixth inning to take a double-digit lead. With Medley leading off the inning with a single and landing on third via a stolen base and throwing error from the Warriors, Steen hit a line drive into left to bring him home

Later in the inning, Brody Beaupre chipped in with a sacrifice fly to give Oak Hall an 11-0 lead. With their lead now as secure as it gets, Steen replaced Freeman on the mound for the final inning. He retired the Warriors with just 13 pitches to clinch the run-rule win.

Oak Hall will be back in action on April 3 at 6:00 p.m., when they will hit the road to take on the Baldwin Indians.

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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