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|OCS shuts out Oak Grove to advance to Class 1A boys baseball semifinals|
Behind a dominant pitching performance by senior Mark Laird, the Ouachita Christian Eagles (27-4) got the timely hits they needed to defeat the Oak Grove Tigers 7-0 at OCS on Saturday.
"We didn't hit as well I would liked, but we did lay the ball down well in spots for us today." OCS Coach Micah Harper said. "Their pitcher, Trey Auger, has three really good pitches and is a tough pitcher to get hits on."
One of the keys to OCS success this season has been excellent base running and it showed in Saturday's quarterfinal contest against Oak Grove (20-15).
Several times throughout the contest when runners got on base they quickly advanced to scoring position via steal. Getting runners in scoring position really paid for the Eagles in the bottom of the sixth when three wild pitches led to three runs for OCS.
The OCS Eagles leading hitters were Jordan Washam (2 for 3), Brice Gillikin (1 for 3, 1 RBI, 1 HR) and Colby Webb (2 for 2, 1 RBI). Jonathan Washam and Josh Greer each pick up a RBI via a sacrifice hit.
On the mound, Laird (8-1) battled not just the Tiger lineup, but the 90degree plus temperature on his way to 10 strikeouts in the game including 2 in the top of the seventh inning to contest.
"Coach told us all week to keep hydrated," Laird said. "I think it really paid off for us today."
Laird is not the only OCS Eagle that has been dominating on the mound. In fact the Eagles pitching rotation boast fours guys that can come in and get the job done in Braden Bristo, John Michael Livingston, David Joe Branch and Laird.
"As pitcher and defensive guy, it is huge to know that nobody who takes the hill, they are going to throw strikes and set the defense up to make out." Laird said.
Oak Grove's Auger took the loss. Next up, OCS will play the number five seeded Mangham Dragons (26-9) in the semifinals of the Class 1A playoffs at J.C. Love Field on the campus of LA Tech on Friday.
Mangham knocked off defending Class 1A state champion St. Mary's 3-2 in the other quarterfinal contest in the top of the Class 1A bracket.
The semifinal game will mark the second time the OCS Eagles and Mangham Dragons have played this season. On March 20th, OCS defeated Mangham 10-0 at Mangham.
Photo by Kerry Wooten Photography
Photo caption: OCS senior pitcher Mark Laird fires a strike in the Eagle's 7-0 quarterfinal victory over the Oak Grove Tigers on Saturday at OCS. Laird pitched the complete game giving up 2 hits with 10 strikeouts including 2 in the final inning.