The Oak Mountain Varsity Eagles outlasted neighboring 5A Briarwood Christian Lions 8-7 in a high-scoring affair played at Oak Mountain High School Tuesday afternoon.
The Eagles scored quickly in the bottom of the 1st inning to grab an early lead. After 1 out, Mitchell Pierce got hit by a pitch, Davis Gillespie singled, and Cole Sester also got hit by a pitch to load the bases. Andrew Hunt walked to bring in Pierce, and Stephen Moraski followed with a sacrifice fly to center field to score Gillespie, and Oak Mountain led 2-0 after 1.
Briarwood then came back to tie the game in the top of the 2nd inning taking advantage of 3 walks and an error by the Eagles to score 2 runs.
In the bottom of the inning Oak Mountain also relied on a walk and an error to reclaim the lead 3-2. Connor Adams walked to lead off the inning and advanced to 3rd when Parker Campbell reached on an error. Adams scored when Jake Rivers grounded out to first base.
The Lions came right back in the top of the 3rd to tie things up again using a single, a walk, and a double to score one run.
In this back-and-forth affair, the Eagles reclaimed the lead again in the bottom half of the inning. Sester singled, Hunt walked, and Moraski singled to start the inning. Stone Evers then grounded into a double play that allowed Sester to make the score 4-3 in favor of the home team.
Again, Briarwood tied the game in the top of the 4th. The Lions put together a single, a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and another single to score their run. They then took the lead 7-4 in the top of the 6th inning. The Lions scored three runs with 2 outs by stringing together a walk, a double, another walk, and then a triple to clear the bases.
However, Oak Mountain came right back to tie the game in the bottom of the 6th. Evers singled with one out, and Drew Rowland reached on an error. Another error allowed Campbell to reach base and Evers to score to close the gap to 7-5. Sullivan Tipton, who had come on to pinch run for Rowland, scored on a wild pitch, and Rivers tied the game again at 7 on another ground out to first base plating Campbell.
The Eagles held the Lions scoreless in the top of the seventh, setting the stage for the exciting ending. Sester led off with a walk, and Tipton came in to pinch run. After one out, Moraski lined a walk-off double to left-center field scoring the speedy Tipton all the way from first base and giving Oak Mountain the 8-7 win.
Jake Rivers and Stephen Moraski led the Eagles offensively with 2 RBI each. Hunt also had an RBI. Moraski had 2 hits, and Sester, Gillespie, and Evers one hit apiece. Tipton scored 2 runs, and Pierce, Gillespie, Sester, Evers, Adams, & Campbell also scored.
Jake Rivers was the starting pitcher and went 3 innings, allowing 4 runs, but only 2 earned, while striking out 4. Drew Rowland also pitched 3 innings allowing 3 runs. Colton Smith shut out the Lions in the 7th inning to get the win.