MONROE — Evangel broke things open in the 11th inning after the two teams were locked in a heated pitchers’ duel and Ty O’Neal and Grant Shepherd combined to pitch a strong outing for OCS until Evangel found its stroke at the plate to win 9-3 in Monroe.
Evangel took an early lead off of O’Neal with an RBI single by Terry Couch. OCS matched it with an RBI single by Bryce Wallace in the bottom of the second inning. The teams then embarked on eight straight scoreless innings with OCS having the most chances to get runs on the board, including stranding 17 runners on base and having bases loaded three times in that span.
“That was definitely big,” OCS coach John Parker said of the lack of timely hitting. “We just couldn’t get the hit when we needed to tonight.”
The 11th inning was completely different for Evangel as a pair of two-run doubles by Collin Beckermeyer and Devin Stephens, an RBI single by Ryan Usie and a fielder’s choice by Nathan Pyles combining to make an eight-run frame for ECA.
“We were able to throw enough strikes and make enough plays to keep (OCS) from scoring,” Evangel coach Tim Hulett said. “We knew we had to keep pushing after that first run (in the 11th inning) and not be satisfied with one or two runs. That was key.”
OCS rallied in the bottom of the 11th inning with Wallace delivering his second RBI hit of the game and Jake Slaughter ripping an RBI double for the homestanding Eagles.
Evangel is back in action at Tioga on Tuesday. OCS turns around for Saturday tilt at home against Mangham at 2 p.m.