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The Rockwood Tigers kept their season alive and advanced to Wednesday’s Region 2-A title Monday by knocking off Oakdale, 13-5, at Mike “Brillo” Miller Sports Complex in Rockwood.
Oakdale was making their first region appearance since 1998 and the Eagles seemed to have a case of big game jitters as Oakdale struggled in the early going.
Rockwood took advantage as they scored three runs in each of the first two innings.
The three-run first inning began when a pitch hit Riley Clem with one out. Tavin Napier followed by reaching on an error before Hayden Freels put the Tigers on top with an RBI single. Jared Breazeale added a sacrifice fly RBI and Hunter Robbins stroked a two-run double to give the Tigers the three-run lead.
The second inning started like the first as Clem reached safely after being plunked by a pitch. Napier followed with RBI single then Freels walked before Jared Breazeale drove in two runs with a single.
The Tigers added another run to their tally in the bottom of the third. Hunter Grant reached on an error with two outs and scored on a single from Clem.
Oakdale, however, refused to go away and scored their first three runs in the top of the fourth inning. Aaron Powers got things going with double and he would scored on a wild pitch. Jonah DeVaney and Justin Moore also scored on a Devin Ruppe two-run single.
Rockwood answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame to make the score 9-3. Freels and Jared Breazeale scored the runs with Jordan Breazeale and Matt Cofer picking up the RBIs.
The fifth inning would see the two teams combine for six runs.
Terrance Willis and Powers scored Oakdale’s runs, as they pulled to within 9-5.
Rockwood, however, put the game away with four runs in the bottom of the frame.
Grant singled and scored the first run on a triple from Clem. Napier followed with an RBI single then Freels walked before Robbins and Jordan Breazeale drove in runs to make the score 13-5.
Rockwood had 10 hits on the day with Clem (2-3, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 3 runs), Napier (2-4, 2 RBIs, 3 runs), Freels (2-2, 1 RBI, 4 runs) and Robbins (2-4, 1 2B, 2 RBIs) all having multiple hits.
Jared Breazeale (6 IP, 6 hits, 3 BBs, 12 Ks) earned the victory for the Tigers.
Willis (2-4, 1 3B, 1 run), Powers (2-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 runs) and Moore (2-3, 1 RBI, 1 run) led the way for Oakdale in defeat.
With the victory, Rockwood (23-7) advances to Wednesday’s Region 2-A title game where the Tigers will host Grace Christian. The Tigers and Rams have met three times on the year with Rockwood winning two times. All three games have been high scoring with the Tigers holding a 49-47 advantage in runs scored.
Win or lose on Wednesday, the Tigers will play again on Friday against North Greene or Unaka in the TSSAA Class A Sectional with a berth in the TSSAA Class A State Tournament on the line. The winner of Wednesday’s game will play at home on Friday with the loser hitting the road.