Oak Harbor Legion trimmed again, 5-3

Oak Harbor
Oak Harbor's Sam Wolfe, 16, slides safely under the tag of Meridian shortstop Willy Hansen to steal second base.
— image credit: Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times

All five runs scoring with two outs and hitting into three double plays resulted in visiting Meridian defeating Oak Harbor 5-3 in a Thursday AA American Legion baseball game.

The defeat was yet another close game that has become almost the norm for the Wildcats every time the team has taken the field this season.

“They got the timely hits in the game and we weren’t able to,” coach John Humphries said.

Starting pitcher Jason Bagby retired the first two Meridian batters with ease in the top of the first inning on a called third strike and a weak pop fly to first base, but then the opposing team’s bats came to life.

Taylor Harrison singled and Ricky Weibe followed with a ringing triple to left-center field to plate the first Meridian run. Bo Norris then rapped a single up the middle to score Weibe with the second run.

Oak Harbor got the leadoff batter on in the bottom of the first inning, but hit then into the first double play.

Josh Higbee lined the ball hard to Meridian second baseman Dan Moreno who doubled J.D. Wilcox off trying to get back to first base.

The Wildcats came storming back with a run in the bottom of the third inning on a leadoff walk to Wilcox, a stolen base and a balk, and Bennett Richter’s perfect one-out squeeze bunt.

Meridian made the score 3-1 with a run in the top of the fourth inning on Michael Tripp’s two-out double, but once again Oak Harbor rallied to keep the score close.

Sam Wolfe led off with a single, was sacrificed to second base and scored on Kian Mebane’s single.

Meridian scored two additional runs in the top of the fifth inning on a two-out wild pitch on a swinging third strike which allowed Willy Hansen to reach first base, followed by three-straight singles by Harrison, Weibe and Norris to make the score 5-2.

Oak Harbor’s Josh Higbee and Brad Farnum singled to open the bottom half of the fifth, but a double play accounted for two outs and moved Higbee to third base. Austin Humphries came through with a two-out single to plate the Wildcats’ final run of the game.

“We hit the ball well, but just hit into too many double plays,” coach Humphries said. ”We’d get runners on and then hit into a double play. That’s what killed us.”

Farnum was 2-for-2 with a pair of singles and two walks for Oak Harbor.

Bagby pitched the first five innings giving up five runs on seven hits, while striking out five and walking one.

“Their pitcher put the ball right where he needed to,” Humphries said. “He got the pitches right in.”

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