By Teddy Rydquist
Leader Staff Writer
The Oxford Wildcat baseball program swept the Clarkston Wolves in their third league series of the season on May 3 and 4.
Improving to 15-5 (6-3 Oakland Activities Association Red Division), the Wildcats scored 33 runs in the three-game set.
Originally planning to play a doubleheader at Clarkston on May 3, the schools ended up playing just one game that day due to the contest, which featured a score of 8-7, going 11 innings.
Senior right-hander Nolan Kutchey drew the start and received a no-decision, tossing five innings of eight-hit, four-earned run baseball with one walk and four strikeouts.
Junior Eddie Bieniasz, a lefty, picked up the win, working the final six frames and allowing two runs on five hits. Like Kutchey, he walked just a lone Wolf and struck out seven.
Left fielder Brendan Moore, a senior, scored the game-winning run on a throwing error by Clarkston’s junior catcher, Beau Borgacz, and finished 3-for-5 with a run batted in (RBI). Sophomore third baseman Owen Schihl collected a team-high four hits, including a double, and knocked in two runs.
The final two games of the series were played at Oxford on May 4, with the Wolves serving as the designated home team for the first. The Wildcats still occupied their normal third-base dugout and enjoyed the benefits of playing at home, with the only change being they hit in the top of the inning, instead of the bottom.
Jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the third, Oxford picked up a 9-3 victory, led by senior left-hander Sean Cooper’s nine strikeouts in six innings of three-run baseball, only one of which was earned.
Senior shortstop Ethan Burdua, Cooper, Moore, and Schihl each tallied two hits.
In the final game of the set, in which the Wildcats were the home team, head coach Dave Herrick’s troops produced their second-highest run total of the season, cruising to a 16-6 win.
All 16 of these runs came in the first three innings, including an 11-run outburst in the first.
Eight different players registered a hit for Oxford, led by two apiece from center fielder Brady Carpenter and third baseman Tony Hatzigeorgiou, both of whom are juniors.
Another junior, right-hander Gavin Walters, earned the win, striking out eight Wolves in his four innings on the hill.
Through these first 20 games, Hatzigeorgiou leads the team with a .482 batting average (14-for-29), while Burdua is pacing the team in hits with 24 in 62 at-bats, good for a .387 mark. Moore, who is hitting .345 (19-for-55), has driven in a team-high 17 runs.
On the mound, Cooper is 2-0 with a 0.73 earned run average (ERA) in his four starts. Bieniasz and Kutchey both also boast an ERA under 2.00, posting a 1.35 in 20.2 innings and a 1.96 in 32 innings, respectively.
The Wildcats began their fourth OAA Red series of the season on Monday with a trip to Rochester High School to battle the Falcons and will complete the three games on Wednesday with a home doubleheader, the first of which begins at 4 p.m.
By Teddy Rydquist