Oak Hall
As of April 22, the Oak Hall Eagles are averaging 10.4 runs per game and .404 in the batter's box as a team.

Oak Hall Eagles Manhandle Trenton Tigers In 16-6 Victory

In a battle inside the batter’s box on Friday afternoon, the Oak Hall Eagles came out on top.

The Eagles knocked out 19 hits in a dominant 16-6 win over the Trenton Tigers. Oak Hall narrowly came away with a 3-2 victory in their previous matchup with Trenton earlier this year. This time around, the Eagles completely dismantled the Tigers to complete the season sweep.

Jack Kuzmicki completed yet another perfect day at the plate. He went 4-for-4 on the day with two RBIs, three stolen bases and four runs scored. Gavin Jones also had a strong offensive showing, going 3-for-3 with one RBI, two stolen bases and two runs scored.

Five other Eagles recorded multiple hits on the day as well. Darion Medley knocked in a first-inning triple to get the ball rolling for the Eagles offense, while Jack Steen tallied up a team-high four RBIs.

On the mound, Troy Freeman picked up his sixth win of the 2023 campaign. In five innings pitched, he gave up ten hits, six runs (five earned) and zero walks. Freeman also struck out six batters on the day. Ethan Szlachetka went on to pitch the final inning, where he only allowed zero hits, one walk and zero runs.

Early Offensive Fireworks All Around

Both teams got off to strong starts in the batter’s box. Brant Bivens led off the afternoon with a single on a grounder for the Tigers. After a sacrifice bunt landed Bivens on second, Dax Becker knocked a deep hit into right field. The ball landed among the trees behind the ballpark, and Becker had a home run.

The Eagles remained completely unshaken. Despite already finding themselves in a sizable hole, Oak Hall immediately got those two runs back and then some more. Harrison Beach led off with a walk, and Kuzmicki advanced him to second on a hard ground ball single.

Medley then launched a line drive into right field for a triple to tie the game up. He then immediately made it home on a single into center field from Steen. Suddenly, the Eagles looked unstoppable at the plate.

“We came out dull against them last time, but we jumped on them from the start [today],” Steen said. “We were seeing the ball real well… You always want to beat teams real bad when you’re at home.”

Following another single from Ethan Szlachetka, Jones hit a line drive into left field to bring Steen home. To cap it all off, Neil Ruth knocked a two-RBI single into right field to give the Eagles a 6-2 lead. While the first inning proved to be a wild one for both squads, the action had only just gotten started.

Oak Hall Gets Hotter And Hotter

In the top of the second inning, the Tigers could not muster up a response to the Eagles’ offensive breakthrough. Mason Craft led off with a single but was immediately picked off at first base. From there, Oak Hall picked up two quick outs to retire the side.

Harrison Beach led off the bottom of the inning with a single and a stolen base. Kuzmicki then cracked a line drive into left to bring him home. Following another hit from Medley that landed Kuzmicki on third, Steen blasted a double into deep center field to score both runners.

The Eagles managed to load the bases back up with another pair of hits from Szlachetka and Jones. However, three consecutive outs in the subsequent at-bats prevented Oak Hall from doing any more damage. They exited the second inning with a 9-2 lead.

Trenton showed some signs of life in the third inning. They knocked in four straight singles to drive in three runs, eventually tacking on a fourth run via a passed ball. In spite of this offensive outburst, they still trailed 10-6 at the end of the inning, thanks in part to Kuzmicki scoring in the bottom of the inning on a passed ball.

Putting The Tigers Away

By the fourth inning, the Eagles had commenced full takeover mode. Jones belted a leadoff double into center field and scored on the next play due to a Trenton fielding error. Neil Ruth then laid down a perfect bunt that riled up the Eagles dugout. In the next at-bat, Jackson Beach nailed a double into center to score another Oak Hall run and advance Ruth to third.

Harrison Beach followed him up with a sacrifice fly to score Ruth. With Jackson Beach now at third, the Tigers walked Kuzmicki in the subsequent at-bat. However, upon reaching first base, Kuzmicki turned the corner and made a mad dash for second. With Trenton caught off guard and scrambling to throw him out, Jackson Beach charged for home plate. Both runners ended up safe, and the Eagles extended their lead to 14-6.

Kuzmicki had just picked up his third stolen base to go with his three hits and three runs from earlier in the day. Most batters could only dream of performances like this. But for him, this was essentially just another day at the office.

“Even if I’m 4-for-4 with four home runs, I’m stepping into that box for the fifth time the same way as if I’m 0-for-4 with four strikeouts,” Kuzmicki said. “Nothing really changes mentally. I don’t really think about the result, I’m just trying to do my best for the team.”

Oak Hall Clinches Another Run-Rule W

After a scoreless fifth inning on both sides, Kuzmicki and Steen managed to finish the Tigers off for good in inning number sixth. Jackson Beach led off with a single into right field, and Kuzmicki knocked a line drive into deep left field for an RBI double.

Two at-bats later, Steen hit a ball deep into center field that landed within feet of the fence. As Steen reached second base, Kuzmicki pranced toward home plate and scored Oak Hall’s 16th run of the game. With the Eagles now up by double digits in the bottom of the inning, the umpires called the game. Final score: 16-6, Eagles.

Oak Hall will return to the diamond on April 25 for a road matchup with the Mount Dora Christian Academy Bulldogs. In their previous matchup earlier this year, the Bulldogs knocked out five home runs en route to a 10-4 win over the Eagles. Oak Hall now has an opportunity to get their revenge, while Mount Dora will go for the season sweep.

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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