ROXANA — Two strong innings helped the East Alton-Wood River Oilers earn a non-conference win over the Roxana Shells on Monday at Roxana.
The Oilers scored three runs in the sixth and five more in the seventh in the 10-3 win. EA-WR improves to 11-15 with the victory.
“We were struggling from the plate early in the game and we had a few mistakes,” Oilers' coach Kyle Duncan said. “For the first time this year, we battled back. We started putting the ball in play, a better approach at the plate. I think the last two or three innings we played really well.”
EA-WR has won 9 of its last 11 games.
“We’ve been playing really well here lately,” Duncan said. “We took our lumps early. The kids are improving. We’re going in the right direction before regionals.”
The Oilers went into the sixth inning trailing 3-2. Luke Westbrook ran home from third after a wild pitch from Roxana’s Logan Presley to tie the game up. Luke Wells’ one-run single made the score 4-3 in favor of EA-WR. Wells scored from third for the Oilers' fifth run when Zaide Wilson singled into left field.
Duncan said Wells’ single “was huge.”
“We come out here ready to play,” Wells said. “We do that every game. It was a 3-3 tie. I came out and got the big hit and it really broke it for the guys.”
EA-WR tacked on two more runs in the sixth when Roxana pitcher Blake Vandiver walked Bryce Bazzel and Wells with the bases loaded. Christian Hunter’s one-run single made the score 8-3 Oilers. Bazzel scored the Oilers’ ninth run. Wilson smacked a ground ball to third base and third baseman Sam Mosby threw the ball to catcher Chad Mott, but the ball popped out of Mott’s glove and Bazzel scored. Blake Marks’ sacrifice fly made the score 10-3.
Marks pitched all seven innings for the Oilers. He threw 117 pitches, fanned seven batters, walked one and gave up five hits and two runs. Marks improved to 6-1 with the win over the Shells.
“He’s been doing a good job,” Duncan said of Marks. “This is the second game where he’s thrown a complete game. He throws well and he limits his walks.”
Roxana coach Scott Harper said he thought the two clubs were pretty even. EA-WR beat the Shells 12-6 on March 17.
“Marks throws a good game,” Harper said. “We knew he was a challenge, we faced him the first time. It was a 3-2 game, but we just didn’t pitch and play very well in the last two innings. There were too many walks and things fell apart on us.”
Mosby started on the mound for the Shells (10-16). He worked 1.2 innings and was relieved by Drew Ratcliff. Logan Presley, Vandiver and Chance Foss also pitched for Roxana.
The Shells pulled ahead 2-0 in the first inning behind Billy Mathis’ two-run single. Westbrook scored the Oilers' first run in the second due to a Roxana error. Also in the second, Bazzel ran home from third to tie the game 2-2 after Wells’ grounded out. Austin Presley’s one-run single in the fourth inning gave Roxana a 3-2 lead.
The Oilers return to action on Wednesday with an away contest at 5 p.m. against Carlinville. The Shells play again Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in an away South Central Conference contest against Staunton.