Oyler tool slick for Eagles to handle

May 03, 2006|by CHRIS CARTER / Staff Correspondent

HEDGESVILLE, W.Va. - Milo Oyler is making it more and more difficult for Waynesboro coach Greg Chandler to keep him out of the starting rotation.

Oyler, who pitched himself out of the rotation with poor scrimmage starts, made a bid to return to starter's status. The Waynesboro junior fired a complete game, allowing one run and scattering seven hits Tuesday, to help the No. 1 Indians to a 4-1 victory over Hedgesville.

"Milo is looking as good as any of the pitchers we have right now," said Chandler, who notched his 300th career victory. "He hasn't been in the rotation, but I have no problem in giving him the ball. Each time out he proves me wrong."

Oyler struck out six and walked none. He pitched out of trouble in the second, third and fourth innings to strand three Hedgesville runners in scoring position.


"I don't feel a lot of pressure because I know I have good defense behind me," Oyler said. "Most of the time they're going to make the play that gets us out."

Hedgesville's inability to bring home runners in scoring position has been a seasonlong problem. The Eagles (15-12) have left 208 runners in the prime position, while collecting just 195 hits.

"We haven't developed the ability to come up with the big hit when we've need it," said Hedgesville coach Ben Merica. "Anytime you leave more runners in scoring position than you have hits is not good."

Hedgesville added to its problems with elementary baserunning mistakes. The Eagles missed a chance to strike first in the second when Robert Ahalt reached on an error and Scott Rhoe singled to right field. Merica waved Taylor Hockman - Ahalt's courtesy runner - to third, but he stopped at second. Zack Walburn followed with a fly ball to deep center field that would have scored Hockman on the sacrifice fly. Instead, Hockman was stranded and the Eagles remained scoreless.

Meanwhile, Waynesboro (15-1) was much more alert on the basepaths.

The Indians scored after back-to-back singles from Cory Livengood and Brenten Kopocek led off the third. After Matt Anderson advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt, Livengood scored on Jordan Reitz's RBI groundout for a 1-0 lead.

The Indians extended the lead in the fifth when Livengood led off with a double and scored on a Kopocek single. One batter later, Kopocek scored on a single by Reitz to up the lead to 3-0.

Nate Minnich made it 4-0 with a solo home run in the sixth.

Hedgesville's best chance to come back was in the sixth when the first two batters reached. Andrew Shaffer appeared to be hit by Oyler on bunt attempt. Instead, the pitch was ruled a strike because Shaffer was squared to bunt when the ball hit him.

The rally fell apart when Shaffer struck out right after one of the runners were picked off. The Eagles turned a possible bases-loaded, no-out situation into one with a man on third and two outs.

Only an infield single by Rhoe to score Logan Clark prevented the inning from being a total loss.

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