Phoenix start season with sweeep of Glenville
Before for the season began on Saturday, Oberlin varsity baseball coach Lynn Gray was concerned how his team would react to the new bats. The Phoenix answered those doubts by crushing Glenville in both games of a doubleheader.
Oberlin, a division three school, thumped the division one Tarblooders 18-1 in the first game and 14-0 in the second. The Phoenix bats weren’t the only headline, though, as the Oberlin pitchers baffled the Glenville batters all day long.
The Phoenix put the first game away early, scoring 15 runs in the first three innings. Oberlin scored four in the first, seven in the second, and four more in the third.
Another concern Gray had was the team speed, but again the Phoenix allayed those fears as well. The team ran wild on the base paths, stealing 20 bases in the first game and 28 in the second.
The Glenville pitchers struggled to find the strike zone all day as they walked a total of 24 batters in both games.
Prior to this season, the National Federation of State High School Associations banned the aluminum bats teams had been using for years, due to safety concerns. Now all teams have to use BBCOR aluminum bats, which don’t allow the ball to jump off the bat as quickly as in the past.
The Phoenix players said the new bats feel more like wooden bats, and some of the players have even decided to go back to the old wooden bats. Gray said he was concerned that hitting may suffer due to the change.
That simply wasn’t the case for the Phoenix on Saturday.
In the first game, shortstop Matayo Wyman went 2-2 with a double, an RBI, and a walk. Wyman also stole five bases in the game, including stealing home in the first inning.
Catcher Liam McMillin went 2-3 with a double, a walk, and scored three runs. The junior captain also stole three bases.
The Phoenix pitching was also dominant, both starters threw complete games.
Game one starter Brandon Pritt struck out 10 batters, while only allowing one run, three hits, and four walks in four innings of work.
Drew Randleman then threw a complete game shutout striking out nine batters, three hits, and two walks in five innings.
The Phoenix next host Collinwood for a doubleheader on Saturday morning. Game one starts at 11 a.m.