Cats get back on track

MOUNT VERNON—For the first time in two weeks, the Oak Harbor dugout was full of smiles after a game—and for good reason.

The Wildcats (2-11, 4-13) halted a six game losing streak, defeating Mount Vernon 3-2 Friday night, for only their second league win this season.

“It’s about time something went right,” head coach Jim Waller said.

OHHS, which has lost seven of its WesCo North games by four runs or less, has simply not had the ball bounce its way in 2004.

“Every time we come to a game, coaches ask how come we don’t have more wins,” Waller said. “I always say if I had the answer, I’d fix it.”

The Wildcats hope that answer was found on Friday, when they came through with a clutch two-out rally in the top of the seventh inning.

Tied 2-2, Brett Waller received a two-out walk from Mount Vernon starter Ben Malloy. Pinch runner Erik Sinks stole second base and freshman Marshall Lobbestael kept the inning alive in an unconventional manner. Lobbestael struck out swinging, but the pitch sailed all the way to the backstop, allowing him to scurry safely into first base, while moving Sinks to third.

The table was then set for lead-off hitter Kyle Isaacson, who came into his at bat 0-for-2 with a strikeout.

“I was behind him the whole game and I figured I just needed to shorten up and put the bat on the ball,” Isaacson said.

Isaacson did just that, nailing an outside fastball to the right side of the infield on a 2-2 pitch count. The Mount Vernon second baseman stopped the ball on a diving play to his left, but the speedy Isaacson beat the throw to first, scoring the go-ahead run. The hit was only Oak Harbor’s fourth of the game off of Malloy.

Wildcat pitching then closed the door on the Bulldogs in the bottom half of the inning. Sinks, who came in as relief in the third, forced three straight MVHS batters to pop out.

“Erik’s been struggling, he’s just had trouble throwing strikes and tonight he didn’t,” Waller said. “He did very well.”

In his first start of the season, Zak Peattie pitched three solid innings, allowing no runs, one hit and one walk.

“Zak’s been hurt and hasn’t pitched much, which has really hurt us,” Waller said. “It would have been nice to have him healthy all year.”

John Lobbestael had half of Oak Harbor’s hits, going 2-for-4 with an RBI single in the first inning. The Wildcats picked up their second run off an error in the fourth inning that put them up 2-0.

Mount Vernon inched closer in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single from Malloy. The Bulldogs eventually tied the game on a sacrifice fly from Brad Herring in the bottom of the fifth.

“It feels great to just get another win under our belts,” Isaacson said. “It really gets our confidence up and it’s always good to get a win when you’re struggling like we have been.”

With the playoffs now out of the picture, Oak Harbor doesn’t plan on shutting down over its last three games of the season.

“It’s kind of in the back of our minds we’re not going to be able to get in the playoffs, but we as seniors have goals—individual goals and team goals,” Isaacson said.

OHHS played its second game against Mount Vernon yesterday and hosts Monroe at 4 p.m., today, April 28 in its final home game. The Cats then close the season at Monroe at 4 p.m., Friday, April 30.

Oak Harbor 100 100 1—3 4 0

Mount Vernon 000 110 0—2 5 2

Peattie, Sinks (3) and Lange. Malloy, Herring (7) and Steiner. WP-Sinks. LP-Malloy.

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