A pinch-hit double by Gerry Brown brought in two go-ahead runs for West Orange in the top of the seventh — the eventual difference in the 9-7 victory for the Warriors.
OCOEE With both teams entering with a 5-1 record, last Friday’s matchup between West Orange and Ocoee certainly did not disappoint.
The Warriors led big early, gave up that lead late and rallied to escape the Knights’ home field with a 9-7 victory just as the sun set Feb. 26.
“I thought we played the game well — there’s nothing I can pinpoint and say, ‘We did this (badly),’” West Orange coach Jesse Marlo said. “Ocoee is just getting better, and (coach) Bob (Brewer) is doing a great job over there. They battled and swung the bats.”
The two teams split their two regular-season meetings in 2015, with Ocoee beating the Warriors for the first time in program history March 19.
On Friday, West Orange jumped out to a 6-0 lead by the top of third inning before the Knights got their bats going against Warrior ace Tyler Baum. Ocoee scored seven runs over its next four at-bats, putting it ahead going into the seventh.
The Warriors first tied the game before pinch-hitter Gerry Brown drove in two more runs on a two-out double that would prove to be the game’s deciding at-bat.
“Gerry Brown, he’s a guy that we’re very lucky to have coming off the bench,” Marlo said. “He’d probably start most anywhere else.”
Ethan Jones got the win for West Orange, pitching in relief of Baum and sophomore southpaw Doug Nikhazy, while Ocoee’s Ryan Brewer — who was excellent for the Knights in relief — was given the loss.
Both teams now begin the district portions of their schedules. West Orange (7-1) will host Apopka at 7 p.m Friday after the two teams met Wednesday after press time, while Ocoee will host East Ridge at 4 p.m. Friday after the two met on Tuesday, also after press time.
Both Apopka and East Ridge are 8-1 this spring.
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].
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