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Sluggers shock Brother Rice, win first game of season



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May 18, 2011 - The varsity baseball team finally broke through in the win column, shocking one of the top rated teams in the state, Birmingham Brother Rice 5-1 on Tuesday, May 10.

Brother Rice entered the game ranked fourth in the state.

"If the kids come out and do what they are supposed to do, those are the results we are going to get," varsity baseball coach Jeff Willis said. "They gave us a couple of opportunities when they made errors and we took advantage of it."

Matt Economou hit a home-run in the bottom of the sixth inning to give Oxford a 3-0 lead which they stretched out to 5-0 before the end of the frame.

Matt Zitny no-hit Brother Rice through six innings before giving up a run on three hits in the seventh. He finished the game with five strikeouts and two walks.

"We just played a pretty solid game all the way around, top-to-bottom offensively, defensively and pitching," Willis said.

On Monday, May 9, the Wildcats lost to Clarkston 10-0.

"That is a team that hits the baseball and Clayton Spiker was my pitcher that day and he and I both agree that they hit good pitches," Willis said.

The Wildcats struck out only three times in the loss.

"It's not like we're going out and getting dominated, we are hitting the ball and doing everything we need to do, but we just ran into a buzzsaw and that day," he said.

The Wildcats suffered a heartbreaking loss on Wednesday, May 11 when they played Avondale.

Avondale built an 8-2 lead through six innings, but the Wildcats never gave up and scored five runs in the bottom to cut the lead to 8-7.

However, they left the bases loaded when the final out was recorded.

"A totally winnable ballgame and my job as coach is to try and get them in a position to win the ballgame, and we most definitely were," Willis said.

On Friday, March 13, the Wildcats couldn't catch a break and lost a close 3-1 decision to Lake Orion.

Willis said the effort Spiker gave during the game was outstanding.

"Told hold a team like that to three runs, two of which were earned, says quite a bit," Willis said.

Andrew Moser is a staff writer for the Oxford Leader.
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