Two weeks ago, one big inning was the difference in a 13-3 Oak Hall School win against visiting Trenton.
On Monday, the host Tigers were a different team, but the outcome was the same as the Eagles swept the two-game series.
OHS scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning, only to see Trenton battle back with two runs in the bottom of the eighth before falling, 5-4.
It was the seventh straight win for Oak Hall (12-2) and the 299th career win for Oak Hall head coach Kevin Maris.
In the seventh inning, Oak Hall was down to its final out with the tying run on.
Sophomore Jackson Beach doubled down the left field line to score courtesy runner Andrew McManis and tie the game at 2-2. McManis was running for Brody Beaupre after the freshman reached on a one-out throwing error by the shortstop.
“That was huge,” Maris said of Beach’s two-out hit. “It was clutch. He’d been pulling off the ball just a little bit earlier in the game and he really stayed on that pitch and took it the other way and came in clutch. It opened things up and helped us get going.”
With the score tied 2-2, Oak Hall was “clutch” again in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Trenton (9-12) loaded the bases with no outs, but sophomore Emory Ezzell struck out senior Colton Smith, followed by a put out at the plate on a ground ball to first, and a fly out to left field to end the inning and regulation.
“He didn’t get rattled, he stuck to business, and threw strikes, made them swing the stick, and made some nice defensive plays,” Maris said. “That was a big-time situation, and all of those things are good for us down the stretch for tournament play. They gave us a run for the money today and it was an awesome game.”
It was one of several missed chances for the Tigers.
“We go bases loaded and no outs, then you have to push a run across there and we just didn’t do our jobs,” said Trenton coach Scott Hall. “That didn’t cost us the game, we could have won it there, but we had some other opportunities. But yeah, at that time it did cost us the game.”
Trenton appeared to have the game won after taking a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning and holding that lead until one out remained in the ball game.
Trenton played small ball with three straight bunts after consecutive singles to start the inning by Lucas Benson and Brant Bivens.
Maddox Gilliam laid down a perfect bunt single to second base that scored a run and Johnny Scott bunted and reached on a fielder’s choice which brought home the second run of the inning.
After Oak Hall tied it in the final inning, it set up a wild eighth inning.
The Eagles got production from the bottom of the lineup.
Neil Ruth, Ezzell, and Beaupre all singled, with Beaupre driving in the go-ahead run. Aaron Akins had an RBI groundout for a 4-2 lead and then McManis scored on a wild pitch for a 5-2 lead.
Trenton answered in the bottom of the eighth but came up just short, with the tying run stranded at third base.
A hit batsman and an error scored the first run to make it 5-3, then Maddox Gilliam tripled to center field to bring the Tigers within one at 5-4. However, Scott grounded out to first to end the game.
Trenton will host Bronson at 6 p.m. on Tuesday followed by the season finale on Thursday at Lafayette (Mayo).
Oak Hall will close out the regular season at home on Thursday at 4:15 p.m. at Roger Maris Field against Eastside (Gainesville).