Smith shines as Oxford run-rules Mooreville in home opener

Published 7:43 pm Tuesday, February 27, 2018

It is the second game of the season, Chris Baughman knows the best arms are yet to be seen but on Tuesday night the Chargers looked dominant in a 12-2 win in five innings over Mooreville at Edwin Moak Field.

Oxford (2-0) run-ruled the defending Class 3A state champions, who moved up to Class 4A this season with the reclassification. It was a game that was scheduled to be played at Mooreville but the recent wet weather made the Troopers field unplayable and the game was shifted to Oxford.

Tyler Smith made his season debut on the mound and dazzled in a four-inning performance. Smith struck out five Mooreville batters and did not issue a walk. He only had two bad pitches that each resulted in home runs.

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Hammer Franks gave the Troopers (0-3) the early lead with a 2-out solo shot in the top of the first. Brent Cummins hit a one-out solo home run in the top of the second to make it a 2-1 Mooreville lead at the time.

Smith was electric at the plate with a 3-for-3 night with 5 RBIs and two home runs. His hit home runs in his first two at-bats with his second being his first career grand slam.

“I felt pretty good,” Smith said. “I felt like my fastball was up there. I felt like I was throwing it pretty good. …when I’m pitching and hitting I’m usually just focusing on pitching to keep my team in it and if I have a good night at the plate I have a good night at the plate.”

The Chargers also cashed in on four Mooreville errors and a poor night on the mound for Troopers’ Brice Deaton. Deaton only lasted 2 2/3 innings and gave up eight runs off five Oxford hits.

Sam Bianco reached base all three times as the leadoff man and found home all three times without recording a hit. The younger Bianco reached with a walk, an error and a hit by pitch.

Still missing from the lineup is Sam’s older brother Drew. The starting shortstop is still recovering from a severe wrist injury he suffered during basketball season. Drew has played in the field but has yet to pick up a bat. That is set to change come next Tuesday when Oxford takes on Lewisburg.

“The ball was flying out of here like I’ve never seen in February with this crazy weather,” Oxford coach Chris Baughman said. “I’m proud of the way we swung it at the plate. I hope we know we haven’t seen the arms yet that we know we’re going to see. We haven’t seen 88, 90 (mph) yet so we got to make sure that when that time comes we can make sure our approach at the plate changes just a little bit.”

Oxford heads to Brandon for a trio of games in the Mid Mississippi Classic this weekend. The Chargers will play Faith Academy out of Mobile, Alabama on Thursday at Mark Vinson Field on the Brandon Middle School campus then MRA at the same field on Saturday morning. They will close out the weekend against Mobile Christian at Germantown Saturday afternoon.