The Orioles had a wild ride to close baseball’s regular season.
Augusta won five of the final six games through a five-day span to finish with a 10-10 record. The Orioles swept Winfield, made a big comeback in the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader at Rose Hill for a sweep, then split at Clearwater Monday.
“Last year we lost a large group of seniors, and we weren’t .500,” coach Doug Jefferson said. “I’m not happy with .500, but looking back on it, with only four seniors and a lot of freshmen and sophomores, I’m glad to be .500. It’s a step in the right direction, and we still have games to play.”
To top it off, the Orioles will return to Clearwater Monday, May 14 for the first round of their Class 4A?Regional.?Seedings will be determined Wednesday.
Clearwater’s Garrett Hoover had the Orioles’ hitters guessing all of Game 1 with nasty curve balls. They only managed three hits as Hoover struck them out nine times, including the side twice to lead the Indians to a 3-1 win.
Dalton Wheat had two of the hits, a single and a double. Joe Cannady reached second base on a Clearwater error, then got to third on a single by Logan Hiser. Hiser got caught in a pickle between first and second, but while Clearwater was trying to tag him out, Cannady scored from third for the Orioles’ lone run.
Kolton Schenker allowed six hits, four walks and struck out five in seven innings. He also picked off two baserunners.
Augusta took advantage of bad pitching by Clearwater in Game 2. The Indians hit several batters, and the Orioles capitalized on way to a 5-1 win. Wheat scored two runs. Mason Hiser was 2-for-2 with a sacrifice. Joey Paul had a walk and a run.
O’s rally past Rose Hill for sweep
Augusta fell behind 5-1 to the Rockets after two innings, but scored in each of the last four innings to come back for a 9-8 win in Saturday’s makeup game. The win gave the Orioles a sweep after they won the opener 6-3.
“That was a good experience for our kids,” coach Doug Jefferson said. “I?think that’s the first time we’ve come from behind this year. Huge experience for them going into Regionals this week.”
Joey Paul kicked off the rally with a 2-RBI single in the fourth to cut Rose?Hill’s lead to 5-3. He finished 2-for-4.
Rose Hill got a run in bottom of the fourth. Ben Madison hit an RBI double, and the Orioles scored two runs off Rose?Hill miscues to tie it 6-6. Both teams added two runs in the sixth.
Tyler Bond hit what proved to be the game-winning RBI single to score Logan Hiser, who earlier reached on an error.
Hiser pitched six solid innings, giving up two runs for the win in the opener.