The suddenly hot Oakridge baseball team jumped out to an early lead on Wednesday, then held on to beat Alma 6-4 in a Division 2 regional semifinal game at Alma High School.
Oakridge grabbed a 4-0 lead after three innings, then the sound of thunder in the distance stopped play for about 15 minutes. The game got closer when the action resumed, with both teams scoring once in the fourth inning, Alma scoring twice in the fifth to make it 5-3, and both teams scoring once in the sixth.
Ethan Miller started on the mound and got the win for Oakridge, pitching 6 1/3 innings. He scattered 10 hits and struck out five before he was hit by a batted ball in the seventh and left the game. Seth Plumhoff came on and got the last two outs for the Eagles.
Corey Vanderputte was the offensive star for Oakridge, going 4-for-4 at the plate with three singles and a double and scoring three runs. He also had two stolen bases.
Miller had two hits, including an RBI triple, while Plumhoff had two hits, drove in two runs and scored a run. Jake Danicek hit a triple to deep left center, and a throwing error allowed him to score on the play.
The hot streak in the state tournament has been a huge consolation for the Eagles, who had to stop playing for two weeks in the middle of their season due to COVID.
“We’re just hitting our stride right now,” said Oakridge Coach Brandon Barry. “We are gaining confidence and getting good pitching and good defense, and the bats have been coming alive.”