ROXANA — The Roxana Shells baseball team tore through the East Alton-Wood River Oiler defense at home Thursday, scoring 16 runs in the third inning on the way to a 22-2 victory.
The non-conference game was rescheduled after being rained out on March 19. The win improves the Shells to 3-4, while the Oilers drop to 2-8 on the season.
"Anytime it gets a little one-sided — and we were on the other end of it last night, so I know where they're at — all you can do is try to get through and play the game as best as you can," Roxana head coach Harper said. "On our end it's hard to throttle back when there is only so much you can do station to station. I know exactly how they feel, we were there last night ourselves."
The Oilers understand how it works, they have scored more than 16 runs in an inning. On May 19, 1998, EA-WR took a 53-1 win over Lovejoy, scoring 18 runs in the first inning. The single inning record is held by Rockton-Hononegah high school, which scored 38 runs in an inning against Pearl City in 2003.
Tanner Davis took the mound for the Shells and kicked off the first inning against EA-WR freshman Tyler Hamby. Hamby reached with a base hit to start it off for the Oilers. Junior Blake Marks registered a double to score Hamby and stake EA-WR to an early 1-0 lead.
Roxana was quick to answer, scoring juniors Chance Foss and Blake Vandiver on base hits with an RBI off the bat of senior Randy Skiff. Marks fanned senior Logan Reardon and closed the inning with Oilers trailing 2-1.
Roxana turned up the heat in the bottom of the second inning with a triple to right center off the bat of senior Seth Chester. Joe Ingram then scored Chester with a base hit. Foss doubled to score Ingram, Vandiver walked and scored on a base knock by Billy Mathis. The Shells extended their lead to 6-1 going into the third inning.
EA-WR freshman Justin Englar reached for a single to lead off the third inning. Englar rounded the bags on a double by Marks before the Oilers were retired, cutting the score to 6-2.
The Shells struck back with a vengeance, scoring 16 runs in the bottom of the third.
Roxana loaded the bases four times during the inning. Mathis, Reardon, Vandiver, Davis, Ingram and Adam Moore each scored twice while Foss and Skiff both scored once to balloon the lead to 22-2.
Pitching changes for the Oilers included Hamby relieving Marks from the mound. Junior Lucas Wells and Tyler Hayes finished out the inning.
"Wood River is a young club with some freshmen in there," Harper said. "The crosstown rivalry is important to these guys so it's nice to get a win there. We have to keep our head in there, we're back in conference play tomorrow. We took some good at-bats today and were able to take advantage of some miscues that kept the inning going. We were able to get some guys in that don't have a lot of playing time."
The Oilers battled in the fifth, but couldn't get their offense going and the Shells earned the bragging rights with a shortened game after five innings.
EA-WR head coach Kyle Duncan felt the Shells played hard and hoped his Oilers will learn something from the experience. Leadership seemed to emerge in the outfield after the game as EA-WR took some extended time to talk over the game as Duncan began to pack the team bag.
"We really hit the ball well today," Vandiver said. "The Oilers didn't play the way we're accustomed to seeing them play, but everyone has a bad day. When a team puts a ball in play like that, runs are going to get scored. We certainly didn't expect 22-2, but we all did our parts as a team. Our pitching was good, our defense was good and guys like Foss, Skiff, Chester and Ingram got things going. Guys that don't get to play too much got hits and scored runs. It was all about the team today. Of course we all have friends over there, we'll enjoy the bragging rights for a little while."
The Shells move on to a conference game tomorrow against Litchfield with the hope to build on their 1-0 South Central Conference record. The Oilers are 2-0 in the Prairie State Conference and head to Freeburg on Saturday for a non-conference double header before boarding the bus for Jerseyville on Monday.