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So close yet so far.
That’s the most apt way to describe the Oliver Springs Bobcats having a region berth within grasp before the Oakdale Eagles rallied in extra innings for a 4-3 victory, sending the Eagles to the Region 2-A Tournament and leaving Oliver Springs to ponder what might have been.
The 'Cats drew first blood in the top of the first with a sacrifice RBI from Taylor Coleman.
Oakdale responded with a Terrence Willis RBI single to make the score tied at 1-1.
The next three innings belonged to the defense as neither team scored, although Oliver Springs did have a pair of runners on base in the third and fourth innings.
The Eagles got on the board again in the bottom of the fifth inning on another Willis RBI single.
After Oakdale left men on second and third in the bottom of the sixth, the 'Cats sent the game into extra innings on a Tyler Green RBI double to give the 'Cats a new lease on life.
Oliver Springs struck first in the top of the eighth inning, as Tanner Turpin drove in a run off a hit and error to give the Bobcats a 3-2 lead.
Oakdale, however, would not be denied their first region appearance since 1998. The Eagles rallied with an RBI double from Justin Moore to tie it up. Brady Bingham then allowed the Oakdale red to filter through on a bloop hit that allowed the Eagles to take for the 4-3 win, leaving no joy for the Oliver Springs nine on this night.
Willis (2-4, 2 RB), and Jonah Devaney (2-4) led the Eagles batting brigade as Devin Ruppe (CG, 4 Ks, 4 BB, 8 hits, 3 ER) got the win.
The 'Cats were led by Tyler Stombaugh (2-3) as Keith Roberts (CG, 7 Ks, 3 W, 4 ER) was tallied with the loss.