WALES — Before they knew it, the Oak Hill baseball team found itself in a significant hole Monday afternoon.

Before they knew it again, the Raiders were right back out of it — and from there, they would turn a contest that looked ominous early into one of their most impressive performances of the season.

Oak Hill came back from a 5-0 deficit in the first inning to claim a 16-6 mercy-rule victory over Hall-Dale in a cross-class Mountain Valley Conference showdown. The win came as the Raiders plated five runs in the first inning, four in the second and seven in the fourth.

“It’s really, really tough to come back mentally from a tough first inning like that, but we really focused in the (next few innings) to get those runs back,” said Oak Hill’s Trent Drouin. “We did pretty well at the plate today; I think we hit the ball really well.”

Landon Bangs had two doubles and a single for Oak Hill, which got another three-hit performance from Braden Dubuc (all singles). Landen Denis, Eli Gosselin and Logan Langlois all had two hits apiece for the Raiders, who totaled 14 as a team.


It was a fine start for Hall-Dale (4-4), which went up 2-0 with no outs as Ben Nathan singled in Breton Lucas and Nick Brown. The Bulldogs soon found themselves up 5-0 as a throwing error on a Collin McArthur fielder’s choice brought in three runs as part of a big opening inning for the visitors.

Oak Hill (7-3), though, answered right back. Nathan walked Dubuc, Drouin and Bangs to load the bases to begin the bottom of the first with the former then scoring via catcher’s interference. A Gosselin fielder’s choice and a Hall-Dale error combined with hits from Denis and Langlois then tied the game.

“We were able to string together a bunch of good at-bats against Nathan to start the game,” said Oak Hill head coach Chad Stowell. “Those five runs right back to tie it were a good response. We put a lot of runners on base and capitalized with those runners on base, and when you do that, you’re going to score runs.”

Nathan would put Hall-Dale back in front in the second as he doubled in Brown, but the Bulldogs’ lead would once again be short-lived. Gosselin knocked an RBI double of his own to tie the game in the bottom of the inning before RBI singles from Langlois and Dubuc made it 9-6.

Dubuc then replaced Bangs on the mound for Oak Hill with one out in the third, and the freshman shined in relief as he pitched 2 2/3 innings of no-hit ball. Then, in the fifth, the Raiders had their biggest inning of all, scoring seven runs on six hits to claim a walk-off victory.

The win was the second in a row for Oak Hill after it dropped games to Mt. Abram and Spruce Mountain earlier last week. After scoring just three runs combined over those two games, an Oak Hill offense that has now scored 25 over its past two appears to be back on track.

“We had three long days after that Spruce Mountain game, but we came back Saturday (against Waynflete) and were able to swing the bats,” Stowell said. “Today, I thought we did that again. We really need to hit our stride, and hopefully this is a step in the right direction.”

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