Jackson County

Oak Grove edges Ocean Springs to advance in 6A playoffs

CHUCK LICK/PineBeltSports.com 
 Ocean Springs left-hander Garrett Crochet pitches against Oak Grove in Hattiesburg Monday night.
CHUCK LICK/PineBeltSports.com Ocean Springs left-hander Garrett Crochet pitches against Oak Grove in Hattiesburg Monday night.

HATTIESBURG -- The best-of-three series needed all 21 innings to decide who would advance to the second round and play Terry.

Oak Grove's Austin O'Flynn hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh to score Mack Pickering and give the Warriors the 4-3 win Monday night.

The throw from the outfield was in time to get Pickering, but the ball was jarred loose.

The hit was extra sweet for O'Flynn, because he felt like he cost his team the win Saturday in game two.

"It feels great because last game I made a crucial error that pretty much cost us the game, and I felt bad about that," O'Flynn said. "I was talking to coach earlier, and he said, 'It's going to come down to you in this game right here, and you're going to produce.'"

To make it even sweeter for the senior, he had an opportunity to break the 3-3 tie in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and no outs. He sent a shot up the middle that deflected off the pitcher and right to the shortstop, Cooper Brune, who fired it home to get the lead runner.

Brune later turned a double played to end the fifth and preserve the tie game.

In that situation in the fifth inning with O'Flynn at the plate, Oak Grove head coach Chris McCardle wanted to try a squeeze-bunt play to get a run home. He said after the game that he regretted his decision not to do it.

But why didn't he do it in the seventh in the same situation?

"Oh, I wanted it," O'Flynn said. "He wanted me to squeeze, first of all. I was like, 'Nah, let me hit. There's zero outs, let me hit.'"

Ocean Springs started the game with a quick run to take the 1-0 lead, but overall missed a lot of chances to add more runs throughout the game. The Warriors limited the Greyhounds to one run in every rally they had.

In the first inning, Drew Boyd threw out a runner at home after an infield error, and an Ocean Springs rally in the third ended after Oak Grove turned a double play. When the Warriors jumped up 3-2 in the fourth, Ocean Springs tied the game when Drew Windham hit a sacrifice fly. But it had another runner thrown out at home during the next at-bat to leave the bases loaded.

Kris Jones came up firing after a Tate Pepper single was smoked to right field, and Hayes Maples applied the tag on Brad Wall at the plate.

Oak Grove cut into the Greyhounds' lead 2-1 in the third inning, then took the lead in the fourth 3-2 to help set up the wild ending.

Brune led Ocean Springs with three hit, and Windham recorded two RBIs in the contest.

Garrett Crochet pitched four innings of five-hit ball, and he allowed three runs - none earned. Wall pitched the final 2 1/3 innings, allowing the one run on two hits.

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