Chandler, Bobcats zap Mustangs
Published 10:11 pm Friday, April 15, 2016
By Ronnie Hughes
WEST ORANGE — The West Orange-Stark Mustangs played host to a young and eager Orangefield Bobcats team Friday night at Ronnie Anderson Park.
The Bobcats shocked the Mustangs on their home field with a 5-1 District 24-4A win as they played near perfect baseball in all phases of the game. Josh Chandler notches the win for Orangefield along with 11 strikeouts.
After having a bye on Tuesday the Mustang bats seemed to be out of sync. Payton Robertson led off the first inning with a walk, but Chandler sat down the next three Mustang batters with all three going down swinging.
The Cats’ didn’t take much time to warm up their bats. Brett Fregia led off the the top of the second with a single to left field. Fregia later scored after Jack Dallas walked a few batters to load the bases. Josh Chandler hit into a fielders choice to score Fregia with the Mustangs unable to make the play at home plate. The Bobcats held to a 1-0 lead after the top of the inning.
WO-S answered back in the bottom half of the second. Tezeno ripped a shot just over second base following a Blake Robertson fly out to center. Bernard followed suit with a hard shot down the third base line advancing Tezeno to second base. Kaleb Ramsey hit a sacrifice fly just deep enough for Tezeno to speed home and tie the game at one run a piece after two complete innings.
Jack Dallas brought the hit for the Mustangs on the mound the next two innings striking out four of his next six batters. Unfortunately the Mustang offense could not take advantage as Chandler struck out three through the fourth inning with the Stangs’ leaving 3 runners stranded.
Dylan Anthony led off a huge fifth inning with a walk for the Bobcats and stole second base on the next pitch. Lathrop sent Anthony to third on a fielders choice for the first out of the inning. Chandler outran the throw to first on a slow roller down the third base line to put runners in the corner for the Cats’. Anthony scored moments later giving the Bobcats a 2-1 lead. Fregia continued the dominant inning with a single to center to score Armstrong. Andrew Hoyland polished off the scoring with a ball dropping into center field to score Fregia and a 4-1 Bobcat lead after five complete innings. Jack Dallas would be relieved of his pitching duties by Payton Robertson.
Chandler again handled his business on the mound in the bottom of the fifth striking out two of three batters and keeping the Mustangs off the scoreboard. The Bobcats again scratched a runner across in the top of the sixth. A Lathrop double scored Blake Bradley for a 5-1 advantage heading into the bottom half of the inning. Lathrop was 2-3 with an RBI and run scored.
The Stangs’ showed promise in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jack Dallas hit a single to lead off the inning. Following a Ryan Ragsdale fly out to center field, Blake Robertson, reached on an errant throw by Bobcats short-stop. Bernard later walked to load the bases, but a Ramsey strikeout ended the side and left all three runners stranded.
The Mustang bats remained stale the duration of the night as they were unable to overcome the four run deficit and again left two runners stranded in the final inning of play. Jack Dallas led all Mustang batters going 2-3 on the night.
The Mustangs have now dropped their second district game moving to 6-2 in district 24-4A. Orangefield keep their playoff hopes alive moving to 3-6 in district and need to win out for a shot at the post season.
The Mustangs will visit Hamshire-Fannett Tuesday while the Bobcats have a bye and will host Hamshire-Fannett Friday.