OAK HILL - The Oak Hill Oaks overcame an early 3-0 deficit on Wednesday, en route to an 8-4 win over the Southeastern Panthers in a semifinal game of the Division III sectional tournament at home.
Oak Hill (14-10) advances to the championship game against the Wheelersburg Pirates Saturday morning at 11 a.m. at the Wheelersburg diamond.
Southeastern wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, as it sent nine batters to the plate in the top of the first inning against Oak Hill starter Shane Spriggs, who would not have a part in the win from the mound.
However, he and reliever Michael Hays both played key roles in the victory in the latter innings. Spriggs and Hayes each had big hits that drove in two-runs apiece.
Spriggs allowed three runs on seven hits, with no walks and five strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings of work.
Hays came on in relief in in the top of the fifth with two out and none on. In his 2 1/3 innings of work, he did not allow a hit while striking out two and walked just one.
Spriggs struck out the first batter he faced, but the next four reached via singles. Hits by Carson Stauffer, Rik Hartman, and Matt Morris loaded the bases, and then Hunter Hopkins singled to drive in the first run as Stauffer scored.
Blake Carrico and Izak Diehl drove in the next two runs, before Spriggs got out of the inning by striking out Tanner Chenault for the third out.
The Oaks went down in order in the bottom of the first, but Bayley Clutters led off with a double to begin the second and scored on a single by Daniel Eggars. Riley Kuhn, who walked in between the two hits by Clutters and Eggars, came around to score after Christian Ramsey walked with the bases loaded to close within 3-2.
Oak Hill tied the game in the bottom of the third inning on three straight one out singles from Spriggs, Clutters, and Kuhn.
However, the Panthers would retake the lead on an RBI double by Diel in the top of the fourth.
It didn't last for long, as Spriggs led off the bottom of the fourth for Oak Hill with a walk, Clutters doubled and Hays singled up the middle, scoring both runners to give the Oaks the lead for good.
Oak Hill added three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth when Gavin Jonas walked and scored on an error via a fly ball to center by Tyler Rice. Luke Fryman was then hit by a pitch and Spriggs doubled to score Rice and Fryman for the 8-4 lead.
Hays sealed the win for Oak Hill on a strikeout and two ground outs in the seventh.