CALEDONIA — The Oak Hill Academy and Caledonia High School baseball teams both know exactly what separated the Raiders from the Cavaliers in Oak Hill’s 7-5 road win Saturday afternoon.
When Oak Hill put runners on base, the Raiders typically scored them: Colin Boyd’s two-run single in the first inning. Cameron Dill’s go-ahead hit in the fifth. Jake Glusenkamp’s single in the sixth to stretch a one-run lead to two.
Caledonia, for the most part, couldn’t do the same in clutch situations. In the fifth, the Cavs loaded the bases with one out, scored the tying run on a walk but failed to pull ahead. Oak Hill took the lead on an error in the next inning. In the seventh, Caledonia put two men on with one out, but the next two hitters couldn’t get on.
It was all the difference in the Raiders’ big road win.
“Those two-out hits that we kept getting, especially with runners in scoring position, were just huge for us,” Boyd said.
The sophomore shortstop was huge at the plate for Oak Hill (5-8) on Saturday, finishing 3 for 3 with a pair of doubles and an intentional walk. He put the Raiders up with his two-run hit in the first and led off the sixth with his second two-bagger before coming around to score the go-ahead and eventual winning run.
“He’s very capable of coming out and doing that every day,” Oak Hill coach Mitch Bohon said. “He’s a really good hitter, and he’s a tough out. … He had a great day.”
Oak Hill won its third straight game while the struggles continued for Caledonia. The Cavaliers (10-4) lost their third game of the week after a pair of defeats at the hands of district opponent Mooreville. To add injury to insult, Caledonia senior Loren Cox was hit in the hand by a pitch in Friday night’s 5-4 home loss and sat out Saturday with his left arm encased in a cast.
“It’s been a struggle this week,” Caledonia coach Travis Garner said.
After two decent performances against the Troopers, the Cavs fell short of the mark against the Raiders, Garner said.
“It’s the first time adversity hit them, but today, we didn’t respond very well to it,” he said.
An error on a throw to second base as the Cavs tried to catch Oak Hill’s Drew Wright stealing second brought in Boyd to put the Raiders ahead in the top of the sixth. Two outs later, Glusenkamp laced a ball down the left-field line to bring in Wright for some breathing room.
Oak Hill didn’t need it. Gunter Reed, who replaced John Ross Craven on the mound with the bases loaded in the fifth, shut down Caledonia 1-2-3 in the sixth and retired Jacob Humbers and Braxton Harris with two on in the seventh to preserve the win.
“Gunter didn’t do well his last outing, but this time he really showed up and showed out,” Boyd said. “I was really proud of him.”
Reed, Craven and starter Carson Taylor combined to hold Caledonia to just five hits Saturday. Jaden Glasgow led the Cavs with a pair of hits.
“We’re not very good offensively right now,” Garner said. “We’ll have to regroup and go forward.”
Meanwhile, Oak Hill has started to come into its own after a comeback win Monday over Indianola Academy in its conference play opener. The Raiders significantly improved their defense and situational hitting from their first game against Caledonia, a 9-5 Cavaliers win.
“We’re starting to come together,” Bohon said. “The more we play, we’re starting to figure out defensively where we need to be, we’re starting to execute with runners in scoring position, and we’re starting to make some plays, which has hampered us early in the year.”
Caledonia, meanwhile, scuffles into a series with a Pontotoc team prepared to give the Cavs all they can handle. Garner credited Oak Hill for its superior play in Saturday’s win.
“We got beat, and we deserved it,” he said. “They outplayed us, and we tip our hats to those guys.”
Hamilton 4, New Hope 3, six innings
Nettleton 7, New Hope 6, five innings
NETTLETON — The New Hope softball team lost two games in walk-off fashion Saturday at the Nettleton Tournament.
The Trojans lost 4-3 to Hamilton in six innings after a 7-6 loss to Nettleton earlier in the day.
Zoe Goodman led New Hope with three hits and one RBI against Hamilton, while Adi Dueitt had three strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
In Game 1, Goodman, Madyson McBrayer and Emma O’Bryant all had two hits. Taylor Brownlee led New Hope with two RBIs.
McBrayer pitched all 4.1 innings, striking out one.
New Hope will play Tuesday at West Point.
Caledonia 8, Pontotoc 4, Friday
CALEDONIA — Caledonia softball beat Pontotoc 8-4 in Friday’s home game.
Ashlyn Jordan pitched a complete game for the Cavs, striking out six.
Madalyn Dvorak drove in two runs to lead Caledonia.
The Cavs will host Starkville on Monday.
Heritage Academy 9, East Rankin Academy 4
Heritage Academy 9, East Rankin Academy 3
PELAHATCHIE — The Heritage Academy baseball team swept Saturday’s doubleheader at East Rankin Academy in Pelahatchie.
Cole Ketchum got the win on the mound and Aaron Downs had a home run as the Patriots won Game 2 by a score of 9-4.
Rhett Ketchum led Heritage Academy with two hits in the contest, and Downs led the team with two RBIs.
In Game 1, a 9-3 Pats win, Rhett Ketchum, Reed Brewer and Carson Hollis all homered. Caleb Hall had three strikeouts in four innings, and Braden Davidson had a strikeout in three innings.
Heritage Academy will play a doubleheader Tuesday at Leake Academy.
New Hope 10, East Webster 6
MABEN — Paced by a five-run first inning, New Hope earned a 10-6 win on the road Saturday at East Webster.
Hunter Carr had a grand slam and Jeremiah Jethroe had a solo shot in the first inning for the Trojans. But New Hope fell behind 6-5 in the bottom of the fourth.
The Trojans regrouped for three runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh to beat the Wolverines.
New Hope will host Columbus at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Grenada 16, Columbus 4, four innings, Friday
Mooreville 5, Caledonia 4, Friday
Starkville Academy 7, Leake Academy 2, Friday
MADDEN — Starkville Academy improved to 6-0 in district play with a 7-2 road win Friday at Leake Academy.
Drew Williams struck out nine in six innings for the Volunteers, who won despite just two hits. John Paul Buckner and Cooper McNeel each drove in runs, and McNeel drew a game-high three walks.
Starkville Academy will play a doubleheader Tuesday at Winston Academy.