MADISON — Oxford scored enough runs in the early innings to hold off a late Germantown surge and advance to the Class 5A North Half finals with a 7-6 win Saturday night in Madison.
“I’m just emotionally spent, and our kids are, too,” Oxford coach Chris Baughman said. “That’s the way it’s supposed to be. That’s the way you’re supposed to play. You’re supposed to have nothing left in the tank when you get done, and they had nothing left. I’m just proud of them.”
A night after the Chargers rallied from a 7-4 deficit to win on Brooks Krouse’s two-run walk-off single in Game 1 of the best-of-three series in Oxford, it was Germantown (23-9) manufacturing a rally during its final at-bat on its home field.
Facing the same deficit, Germantown loaded the bases with nobody out and cut the deficit to one after Pittman Phillip’s throw trying to complete a double play got past first baseman Drew Phillips. But Houston Roth got a strikeout and a flyout to finish off the sweep for the Chargers (26-8).
Roth went the distance to improve to 12-0. The sophomore right-hander scattered 10 hits and allowed three earned runs while striking out five. Roth did it on 110 pitches.
“At the end, I started to lose it a little bit, but I was still around the plate,” Roth said. “I just let them get themselves out. (Baughman) kept asking me how I felt, but I’m such a competitor, I’m going to stay in the game. I felt great.”
Baughman’s decision to stick with Roth was made easier after Jason Barber, who started Game 1 and would’ve been available for short relief, was ejected after a fourth-inning at-bat for arguing balls and strikes, shortening the Chargers’ bullpen.
“I had to have Houston, Jack (McClure) and Drew,” Baughman said. “He’s got us here. He and Jason have got us here, so I wasn’t going to take that away from him. Couldn’t take it away from him.”
Oxford started fast against Germantown starter Conner McGraw, grabbing a 4-0 lead in the first on a sac fly from McClure, an RBI double from Hunter Roth and a pair of wild pitches. The Chargers went up 7-0 in the third and had opportunities to tack on more throughout the contest but stranded a runner at third with no outs in the fifth and a runner at third with one out in the sixth and seventh.
Germantown got to Roth in the fifth and sixth, scoring a pair of runs in each frame to close the gap heading into the final inning. Jackson Jones went 2-for-4 for the Mavericks while Ross Buckley and Reed Thames each had an RBI triple.
Krouse led Oxford at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI double. Pittman Phillips went 2-for-3. McClure knocked in two runs. Four of the Chargers’ eight hits came against McGraw, who lasted just 1.2 innings in the loss.
Oxford will take on either New Hope or Pearl in the North Half championship series beginning Thursday.
Watch Krouse talk about the win in the video below.
See Monday’s edition of the EAGLE for complete coverage from Saturday’s game. (May 11, 2014)