Baseball: 'Cats, 'Dogs tussle to 17-17 tie

17-17. That was the final score of a contest between Oak Harbor and visiting Mount Vernon Tuesday, March 17.  By the way, the sport was baseball.

The game was halted after six innings because of darkness as the two clubs slugged it out in the nonleague season opener.

Both teams hit well – 10 each – but did not field well – they combined for over a dozen errors.

The game also featured several comebacks, the first by Oak Harbor.

The Bulldogs started the game with three consecutive hits and finished the first inning up 4-0.

Oak Harbor responded immediately by piling up seven runs in its half. Sam Wolfe led off the inning with a walk, then singles by Jay Stout and Yale Rosen loaded the bases.

Josh Evans walked to force in one run, and then an error off the bat of Justin Counts produced two more. Evans tied the score on a wild pitch.

After a strikeout, Ryan Byrne tapped an infield single and Sam Glavick scored Counts with a base hit. Gabe Clark’s single produced the sixth run, and Stout’s sacrifice fly to center finished the scoring.

After a scoreless second, each team tacked on two runs in the third and Oak Harbor led 9-6.

Mount Vernon regained the lead with a four-run fourth.

From there, the Wildcats exploded for eight more runs and led 17-11 after five innings.  Oak Harbor picked up its final four runs on a bases-loaded single by Peter Franssen. The ball slipped by the left fielder and Franssen scooted around the bases to score.

The Bulldogs, taking advantage of several walks and errors, knotted the game with six runs in the top of the sixth.

Counts led off the bottom of the sixth with a hustle double but was left stranded.

Oak Harbor coach Tyson VanDam was pleased, for the most part, by the effort of his team.  He substituted liberally and used several young pitchers instead of some of his returning varsity throwers who will take the mound later this week.

He said, “We got a good look at some of the young kids and got to see how they react in a game situation.”

VanDam said the focus of these early nonleague games is to evaluate talent and not necessarily play his starters the entire contest.

Rosen led Oak Harbor at the plate with three hits and a run. Glavick was 2-for-3 with a triple, run and three RBI. Counts was 2-for-5 with a double, two runs and two RBI. Stout finished 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI.

Oak Harbor continues nonleague play at Mariner Thursday, March 17, at 4 p.m. and at Cascade Saturday, March 19, at 2 p.m.

The Wildcats return home Thursday, March 24, against Monroe at 4 p.m.

The jamboree Oak Harbor was scheduled to play in at Archbishop Thomas Murphy last Saturday was rained out.

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