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Blair Oaks stops Fulton

Blair Oaks stops Fulton

April 8th, 2013 in News

WARDSVILLE - This was the type of performance Blair Oaks sorely needed.

After a weekend that saw the Falcons allow 45 runs, commit 16 errors and use eight different pitchers during three losses, senior Jacob Koelling delivered a spectacular outing at just the right time, pitching Blair Oaks to a 5-2 victory over Fulton on Monday at the Falcon Athletic Complex.

Koelling tossed a complete game and allowed one earned run on two hits and three walks to go along with eight strikeouts.

"That's a real good win for us, considering the scoreboard injuries we sustained over the weekend in the Capital City Invitational," Blair Oaks head coach Harv Antle said.

"That's huge for us, for (Koelling) to go deep in the game there. Obviously after the tournament we're a little thin in pitching. We had some other options, but honestly he was probably our best option to stay in there and finish it himself, which he did."

Koelling was nearly flawless through those first six innings, allowing just the two hits and a walk. Fulton's lone run up to that point came on a solo home run from Dalton Horstmeier in the top of the fourth inning.

"Horstmeier is one of the better players in the area," Antle said. "He showed you what he can do today."

Koelling allowed consecutive one-out walks in the seventh before a bad hop on a groundball to the shortstop skipped into the outfield for a run-scoring error. Koelling then finished off the Hornets with a groundout and a game-ending strikeout.

"Jacob was strong through six innings, staggered a little bit in the seventh but gathered himself and made some pitches to finish it out," Antle said.

Blair Oaks got on the board first with a run in the bottom of the third. Derek Otto led off the frame with a double to the fence in center field, Logan Bax sacrificed him over to third and Kyler Maxey blooped a single to left field to put the Falcons ahead 1-0.

After Horstmeier tied the game with his shot to left-center, Blair Oaks used the same formula to take the lead in the fifth. Otto led off the inning with a single to center, Bax sacrificed him to second and Maxey singled up the middle to make it 2-1.

"Those guys at the top of the lineup, that's their job to set the table," Antle said. "Derek was excellent today in the leadoff role in getting on base. When he gets on base he puts some pressure on the defense with his speed. Logan's a guy in the two-hole that can handle the bat, he showed that by putting a couple of bunts down for us. Those guys did their job."

The Falcons added a few insurance runs in fifth as well, as Ryan Abbott smacked a two-run double to the gap in left before Beau Distler brought him in with a single to left.

"We broke through there finally," Antle said.

After the tough weekend, Antle was happy with the way his team responded Monday.

"Our kids played really well," he said. "We were very good defensively, executed the plays in the field when we had to. Overall, a pretty complete game."

Otto reached base all four plate appearances, collecting a double, two singles and a walk.

Blair Oaks (3-3) travels Thursday to play Fatima. The Comets topped the Falcons 17-9 on Saturday in the seventh-place game of the Capital City Invitational.

"I think any time you have a chance to play a district opponent and a natural rival, everybody knows everybody, and it adds a little intensity to the competition," Antle said. "Certainly we look forward to going down there and matching up with those guys again. Hopefully this time we'll give them a better game."