NORTH ANSON — Depending on your point of view, one inning can undo all the good — or bad — that’s come before it. The Oak Hill High School baseball team will look at the top of the sixth inning of Wednesday’s game against Bridgeway with fondness. Bridgeway, on the other hand, will try to forget the top of the sixth and move on.

Down two runs and showing no signs of an offensive spark against Bridgeway starting pitcher Evan Holzworth, Oak Hill rallied for four runs in the top of the sixth to take a 4-3 Mountain Valley Conference win.

“We finally started putting the ball in play, and we were able to make a couple things happen. The Holzworth kid was throwing lights out, and we were having a really hard time with him until that inning,” Oak Hill coach Chad Stowell said. “We were finally able to get a couple guys on, put some pressure on their defense, and scratch across enough runs.”

Oak Hill is now 2-0, while Bridgeway, a combined team of players from Madison and Carrabec, is 2-3.

After giving up a single to Reid Cote in the first inning, Holzworth retired 12 consecutive Raiders before Austin Gayton’s two-out single in the fifth. Holzworth needed just 56 pitches to get through the first five innings, and in that time only reached two ball counts to three hitters. But things began to turn for Oak Hill when Caleb Treadwell reached on a strikeout passed ball to lead off the top of the sixth. Austin Noble followed with a gritty 11 pitch at-bat, working the Raiders’ first walk of the game. Ethan Barnett followed with a bloop single to right. Treadwell scored, then Noble scored on a throwing error to tie the game at 2-2.

Cote reached on an error, scoring Barnett with the go ahead run. After another Bridgeway error and walk loaded the bases, Gayton’s RBI single gave the Raiders a 4-2 lead.

“(Holzworth) was very efficient. He pitched a great game. Unfortunately, they saw an opportunity. They made an opportunity. We got a little leaky on defense. It was a perfect storm, really. That’s baseball. Sometimes that happens,” Bridgeway coach Scott Franzose said.

The Bandits got a run back in the bottom of the sixth when Aaron Morgan singled, and scored on a throwing error. In the bottom of the seventh, Bridgeway had the tying run on second base, but Oak Hill starter Matt Clifford saw Dustin Crawford extend his lead, and was able to pick Crawford off going to third base for the second out.

“I turned around and he was taking a big secondary lead,” Clifford said.

While Clifford allowed only three hits, he walked five. Aside from allowing two runs in the first inning, Clifford stayed out of trouble and worked around his mistakes, striking out five.

“That’s kind of what Matt does. Matt’s a high pitch guy. He’s a strikeout type pitcher, and he’s used to throwing up around 100 pitches. I knew he’d settle down. That’s kind of his M.O., and he was able to get into a groove there really, after the first inning. They grind out at-bats and make you throw strikes,” Stowell said.

Added Franzose: “I think we both had a generous strike zone. We have a tendency to build a lead and sit on it, go on cruise control. That’s a good young team over there. We gave them an opportunity and they took advantage of it and won the ballgame.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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