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Blair Oaks baseball beats Camdenton for another state-ranked win

by Trevor Hahn | March 30, 2023 at 12:16 a.m.
The Blair Oaks Falcons gather together after winning Wednesday's game 8-2 against the Camdenton Lakers at the Falcon Athletic Complex in Wardsville. (Trevor Hahn/News Tribune)

WARDSVILLE -- There was no panic button pressed for the Blair Oaks Falcons after an 0-4 start, and they are seeing the rewards this week.

After the Falcons picked up their first win Tuesday, an 8-2 victory against Class 4 No. 1 Southern Boone, they picked up another state-ranked win Wednesday with an 8-2 victory against the Class 5 No. 9 Camdenton Lakers at the Falcon Athletic Complex.

“We didn’t panic,” Blair Oaks coach Mike DeMilia said. “We know the kind of schedule we play, and we knew we weren’t playing great baseball. It’s definitely a confidence booster.”

Camdenton jumped out to an early lead in the first inning.

Jackson Basham led off the game with a single to left field, Kade Durnin drew a one-out walk and Cole Hilton drove in the game’s first run with a single. The Lakers got their second run of the inning after a balk brought Durnin home from third and moved Hilton from second to third with one out.

But Jacob Tellman was able to escape the jam with back-to-back three-pitch strikeouts to limit the damage.

And the Falcons had an answer immediately, as Nolan Laughlin reached as the leadoff batter on an error, moved up to second base on an errant pickoff throw and scored on a double to right field by Aiden Boeckmann.

“Last night we got out to such a good start, it was easy to play there, but you get down 2-0 right away against a good team, that game could have turned really quick,” DeMilia said. “To come back with a run kind of took some pressure off.”

Tellman settled in for his final two innings on the mound, as he worked around a leadoff walk in a scoreless second inning and struck out a pair while only allowing a two-out single in the third.

“He struggled a bit early, had a little trouble locating his fastball,” DeMilia said, “but the second two innings he really did a good job of getting all of his pitches over and keeping them off balance.”

The two scoreless innings allowed Blair Oaks to take control of the game, as the Falcons plated three runs in the bottom of the second on four walks, a hit and another Laker error to take a 4-2 lead.

Blair Oaks was able to add another run in the third after Tyler Doman singled to open the frame, moved to second on a throwing error by the catcher on a back-pick attempt and later scored on an infield single by No. 9 hitter Owen Schellman to extend the lead to three.

“I’ll give our guys credit for them taking advantage of mistakes tonight,” DeMilia said.

The Falcons continued to draw walks and take advantage of Camdenton’s mistakes as the game went on.

Blair Oaks plated a run in the bottom of the fifth after four walks brought Schellman home from third and added two more runs in the sixth on three walks and an error to create the final margin.

The Lakers walked 12 batters, hit two more and had six errors in the contest, which allowed the Falcons to score eight runs while just collecting five hits.

“A win is a win but we could have played a lot better offensively,” DeMilia said. “Sometimes you lose but you play pretty good and you just get beat, but today I just felt like they kind of beat themselves.

“We will take it, we are not going to apologize for it.”

The six-run lead was plenty for Caiden Sanford in relief on the mound for the final four innings.

Sanford struck out one and was able to work around allowing three walks, two hits and a hit batter to keep the Lakers off the board.

“Our defense made some plays when we had to, made some tough plays in the middle infield and we made some pitches,” DeMilia said. “When we needed to make a big pitch and get some soft contact or a strikeout, we were able to do it. They have some good hitters, they are scary, so the fact we were able to keep them off balance and miss a lot of barrels was a really good performance by those guys.”

Boeckmann, Doman, Tellman, Sanford and Schellman all collected a hit to account for the five hits from the Falcons, and Schellman led the way by reaching base four times.

Hilton went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI to lead Camdenton (6-1).

Blair Oaks (2-4) will look to keep its momentum going at 5 p.m. today on the road against Linn.

The Lakers were able to bounce back and pick up a 2-1 victory in the JV game Wednesday.


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