Oak Hall wins slugfest against Trenton

Oak Hall's Jack Kuzmicki safely steals second base before Trenton's Dax Becker can tag him in the second inning on Friday.
Photo by C.J. Gish

Two weeks ago, the Oak Hall baseball team had to score three runs in the final inning to beat Trenton, 3-1, on the road.

But on Friday afternoon in Gainesville, the host Eagles put on a hitting clinic in a 16-6 win in six innings to sweep the two-game series.

Oak Hall finished with 19 hits, including four straight hits in the first inning and five straight in the third inning.

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Photo by C.J. Gish Oak Hall’s Troy Freeman had six strikeouts in five innings on the mound against Trenton on Friday.

“Man, those guys can hit,” said Trenton coach Scott Hall. “There was nothing we could do. I don’t care what we threw they were racking it. They were barreling up and there was nothing we could do about it.”

Eight of the nine starters had at least one hit and the Eagles scored in every inning but one.

“We came to play,” said Oak Hall coach Kevin Maris. “Johnny Scott threw an awesome game last time against us and we didn’t come with quality approaches to each bat. We were kind of careless with our at-bats. We didn’t allow that to happen today. They went after it and stayed on it from start to finish.”

Oak Hall, which entered the game with a .393 batting average, rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the first inning by scoring six runs on five hits in the bottom of the first inning for a 6-2 lead.

Junior Darion Medley (2-for-5, 2 RBI, 2 runs) started the hit parade with a 2-RBI triple, scoring junior Harrison Beach (2 runs, 1 RBI) and senior Jack Kuzmicki (4-for-4, 2 RBI, 4 runs), followed by an RBI single by junior Jack Steen (3-for-5, 4 RBI) for a 3-2 lead.

The Eagles never trailed again.

Photo by C.J. Gish Trenton’s Dax Becker watches his first inning two-run home run go over the right field wall at Oak Hall on Friday.

“They started out hot and kind of gave us a little wake-up call to get busy and do what we need to do to take care of business at the plate, and I think we came with a great approach every inning,” Maris said.

Later in the first, sophomore Gavin Jones (3-for-3) singled in a run and senior Neil Ruth (2-for-4) drove in two more on a hard-hit ball that took a bad hop past first baseman Zaiden Bon and into right field for a single.

The Class 2A Eagles (14-4) scored three more runs on six hits in the bottom of the second inning.

That was enough runs for starting pitcher Troy Freeman, who worked five innings, allowing no walks with six strikeouts to improve to 5-1 on the season.

The visiting Tigers (17-5), who are ranked sixth in Class 1A by MaxPreps, struck first on a two-run home run to right field by junior Dax Becker.

“Shout out to Dax because that’s his first career high school home run,” Hall said. “He’s a great kid. He deserves it.”

Becker (3-for-3) also added an RBI single in the third inning as Trenton sent eight batters to the plate and got back in the game, 9-6, before Oak Hall scored seven unanswered.

Trenton will travel to St. Francis Catholic at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, while Oak Hall will travel to Mount Dora Christian at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.

Photo by C.J. Gish Oak Hall’s Darion Medley dives safely back to first before Trenton’s Zaiden Bon can tag him in the second inning on Friday.

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