Oak Glen baseball team eliminated, falls short in sectional final
NEW MANCHESTER — The Oak Glen baseball team has faced its 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 Region 1 Section 1 final on Tuesday.
The fourth-seeded Colts (16-8) scored four runs in the top of the first inning and never looked back, as they advance to the regional tournament. They have won four in a row and swept the sectionals, besting the Bears twice and Weir High once.
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 pitched a complete game against, 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 ballgame.”
Oak Glen, the top seed, finishes at 14-11. The Bears knocked out Weir High in the sectional tournament on Monday and 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 2 1/3 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.”
North Marion 10, Oak Glen 1
North Marion 4-0-0 3-1-0 2 — 10 9 2
Oak Glen 0-0-1-0-0-0-0 — 1 3 4
NORTH MARION: Jace Rinehart, wp (7IP, 3H, R, BB, 8K).
OAK GLEN: Cody Patterson, lp (2 1/3IP, 4H, 4R, 3BB, 3K), Hunter Patterson (4 2/3IP, 5H, 6R, 3ER, 3BB, 2K).