Sports

Oxford no-hits Arlington in Cats win

After dropping a disappointing 12-7 decision to the Arlington Eagles on Tuesday, the Oak Harbor baseball team needed a boost when they faced the same team the next day.

Boy did they get it.

Senior Dewayne Oxford struck out six Eagles on his way to throwing a no-hitter in the Wildcats’ 12-2 victory on Wednesday.

It was the fourth no-hitter thrown by a Wildcat pitcher since head coach Jim Waller took over in 1979, and the first one thrown since James Taylor’s gem in 1995.

“It was really gratifying to see Dewayne throw the no-hitter because he deserves it,” said Wildcats head coach Jim Waller. “He didn’t have his best stuff on Wednesday, but he battled.”

Oxford improved his record to 2-1 on the season with the win and he has given up just one earned run in 19 innings of work. Where he and the Wildcats are getting in trouble is with errors. Opponents have scored 14 unearned runs when he is on the mound. Both Arlington runs on Wednesday came in the third inning and were the result of errors.

“He actually pitched better the time before,” said Waller about Oxford’s performance in a 4-3 victory over Marysville on March 28. “He had better control against the (Tomahawks). I was pleased to see that he could win without having his best stuff.”

Waller didn’t realize that Oxford was throwing the no-no until the fifth inning when someone mentioned it to him on the bench. The coach wasn’t sure if Oxford knew either.

“I didn’t know if he knew what he was doing,” Waller said. “I looked in the book in the fifth and saw that they were scored as errors.”

Arlington took the lead in the third with two unearned runs. After getting the first out of the inning, Oxford walked two Eagles, had a balk and uncorked a wild pitch, wrapped around two fielding errors. The 6-foot-5 senior was then able to get the final two outs and get out of the inning.

“He overcame some adversity in the third,” Waller said. “He got a little upset with the errors but he came through it.”

The Wildcat bats came alive in the top of the fourth when they scored seven runs, with the scoring capped by Mark VanOrt’s two-run home run, his second in two days. Highlights of the scoring binge included Chris Cardinal’s RBI single, a two-RBI double by James Medina, and an Aaron Gibbons double. The next inning the Cats tacked on five more runs including a two-run single by VanOort, giving him four RBI on the day and six against Arlington in two games. Waller was happy to see the senior infielder breakout of a hitting slump.

“Mark hadn’t been hitting the ball really well, but it was nice to see him get two hits in each game,” said Waller.

The 12-2 win over Arlington was big, because the Cats dropped a 12-7 decision to the Eagles at home the day before. After taking a 3-0 lead into the fourth inning a dropped fly ball led to eight Arlington runs, seven of them unearned, in the fourth.

“We just shot ourselves in the foot,” said Waller. “We seem to have one bad inning in each game because of errors.”

Helped by a VanOrt’s two-run homer, the Wildcats closed to one run behind Arlington entering the final inning, but a four-run seventh by the Eagles closed the door on a Cat rally.

“The kids were really flat in the first game,” said Waller. “I was glad we could comeback and win the second, but I hope the loss to Arlington doesn’t come back and haunt us at the end of the season.”

As the Wesco North Division nears the midway point of the season, Oak Harbor is bunched together with several teams looking to move into playoff contention. One of those squads is Monroe, whom the Wildcats played yesterday (results will be published in next Wednesday’s edition of the News-Times) and will play again at home on Tuesday.

“Monroe is similar to us,” said Waller. “We need to start moving up and decide if we’re going to be a pretender or a contender this season.”

Arlington 12, Oak Harbor 7

At Oak Harbor

Arlington 000 800 4 - 12 12 3

Oak Harbor 012 220 0 - 7 8 3

Bishop, Bayley (5), Murphy (6) and Williams. Johnson, Gagnon (4), Goodwin (5), Moser (7) and Nekuda. WP-Bishop. LP-Johnson (1-2). 2B-Goodwin (OH), Curtin (OH). HR-VanOort (OH). Records-Arlington 1-4 in league, 1-5 overall. Oak Harbor 1-4, 3-5.

Oak Harbor 12, Arlington 2

At Arlington

Oak Harbor 000 750 0 - 12 8 4

Arlington 002 000 0 - 2 0 2

Oxford and Prasser, Nekuda (5). Boursaw, Bayley (4) Dumovich (5) and Williams. WP- Oxford. LP-Boursaw (0-1). 2B- Gibbons (OH) 1, Medina (OH). HR-Van Oort (OH) 1. Records- Oak Harbor 2-4 in league, 3-6 overall. Arlington 1-5, 1-6.

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