Defensive miscues too much to overcome as Oxford falls to Grenada

Published 11:29 pm Friday, March 25, 2022

Oxford baseball lost the second of three games in their district-opening series against Grenada on Friday as they struggled to overcome early defensive miscues.

The Chargers surrendered four unearned runs in the first two innings, all of which came on costly errors. Six of Grenada’s eight runs on the night were unearned, as Oxford shot themselves in the foot over and over again with poor fielding.

“It was a lack of execution,” said head coach Cade Hoggard. “It’s tough when you spot them four… that’s a good hitting team with a good two-strike approach so that’s what they’re gonna do.”

Brady Stinnett got the start on the mound for Oxford and pitched well despite the miscues behind him.

“I thought Brady did settle in, he put up some zeros and gave us a shot,” Hoggard said.

The sophomore righty gave up seven runs on seven hits while striking out nine in 5 1/3 innings of work. Just one of the seven runs credited to him was earned, as his defense struggled to make even the simplest of plays on a night were seemingly everything went wrong for Oxford.

The Chargers fought their way back into the game in the middle innings, manufacturing three runs in the bottom of the third before tying the game on a sacrifice fly from sophomore Thomas Rayburn.

Grenada responded in kind however, putting four more runs on the board in the top of the sixth to put the game out of reach.

“We had opportunities all night. As badly as we played we still had opportunities to win this ballgame, and that’s probably what stings the most,” said Hoggard. “At the end of the day these are high school kids and mistakes are gonna happen… you’re not always gonna play clean.”

Oxford received little production from the bottom of their lineup, as the 1-2-3 hitters in the order combined for seven of their eight hits on the night.

Junior catcher Campbell Smithwick and senior shortstop Ty Wicker each recorded a pair of singles on the night, but were stranded in scoring position after their teammates struggled against Grenada ace Landon Waters.

Stinnett provided much of his own support on the night, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a run scored and one RBI.

Oxford falls to 11-5 on the season (1-1 Region 1) as they snap a four-game winning streak with an 8-5 loss. They are now in a four-way tie in the region, as all four teams stand at 1-1 in district play after Starkville defeated Tupelo 16-1 on Friday to even their series.

“The beauty of it is we get a couple hours of sleep and then we’re right back at it. So we’ve got to get the bad taste out of our mouths and bounce back,” said Hoggard.

They back on the road tomorrow as attempt to get back on track when they face Grenada in the rubber match at 1 p.m. CT.