Oxford baseball wins district semifinal

Wildcats fall to Bobcats in championship game
By Jim Newell
Managing Editor
GRAND BLANC — Through six-and-a-half innings on Saturday, the Oxford varsity baseball team played like district champs.
Unfortunately, it was only the district semifinals.
Oxford defeated the Clarkston Wolves 6-1 on Saturday in the MHSAA District 31 baseball semifinals at Grand Blanc High School with a dominating performance offensively and defensively.
This was the fourth time Oxford had faced Clarkston – the Wolves previously defeated the Wildcats three times in the regular season.
Oxford took a one run lead in the bottom of the third inning after a line drive to left field.
The Wildcats hit, ran, played great defense, bunted to move runners up into scoring position and got key hits against Clarkston. But it took a five-run sixth inning rally for the Wildcats to take a commanding 6-1 lead and clinch the district semifinals.
With runners on first and second base and no outs in the sixth inning, Oxford senior Max Marsden laid down a bunt to advance the runners and reach first base. Junior Liam O’Neill then got a walk, forcing in the runner on third base to give the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.
Oxford senior Jay Cady then made a dash for home from third base after a pitch from Clarkston’s Dylan Johnston went past the catcher. Cady slid headfirst into home plate just under the tag to give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead.
Sophomore Jack Hendrix hit a long drive over the Clarkston left fielder’s head to drive in two more runs, giving the Wildcats a 5-0 lead, no outs, with Hendrix on second base.
Junior Robert George drove in Hendrix with a single to center field, putting the Wildcats up 6-0.
Oxford senior pitcher Joseph Bieniasz threw a great game, going six-and-two-thirds innings and giving up one run in the top of the seventh inning, a home run to Clarkston senior Lochlan Stoudt, who drilled the ball over the center field wall for the Wolves only run of the game.
Bieniasz was pulled from the mound with one out to go, turning the ball over to reliever Parker Bennion to close out the game.
The Wildcats then faced Grand Blanc (19-7-3) in the championship game later that day, losing 11-5 to the Bobcats. Grand Blanc advanced to the championship game after beating Holly 8-0 in the other district semifinal and moves on to the Region 16 semifinal.
Oxford finished the season 20-17-1. Clarkston finished with a 13-22 record, according to the MHSAA.

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