The day after the Leprechauns won two games against the Sandusky Ice Haulers by a combined score of 5-2, offense became the theme of the day in Royal Oak’s 10-6 win against Sandusky on Friday night. The Leprechauns racked up seventeen hits on the day, piling on all ten of their runs in the first four innings to give themselves a massive cushion that they rode on the rest of the way. After dropping the first game of the series against the Ice Haulers, Royal Oak rattled off three wins in three games against Sandusky to take the series, improving its record to 15-20 and dropping the Ice Haulers to 17-18.
Tonight’s contest was a game of runs, as Royal Oak exploded to a 10-0 lead through four innings, putting at least one across in each inning. Josh Getz (Northwood) reached base to start the game on an error. UC Riverside’s Jayden Lopez then recorded the first hit of the game with a double, putting men on second and third. John Orberson (Murray State) received an RBI on a groundout, and Caden Duryea (Northwood) pushed across another run with an RBI single.
The following inning, a one-out double by Brayden Dowd (USC) spurred a big rally where four more Leprechauns got hits in the inning, pushing four runs across. After two, the Leprechauns already had seven hits and a 6-0 lead.
Peter Stewart (Lake Land) left the yard with a home run that cleared the left center fence. It was his first round-tripper of the year and it made it 7-0 after three. He received the Player of The Game Award, as he also had an additional RBI single in the fourth.
Another five hits in the fourth, including a leadoff triple by Collin Overholt (Ashland), got Royal Oak into double digits in the run column.
Late-season addition Kurt Barr (Michigan) is another big reason the Leprechauns had that big lead in the first place. He continued the recent trend of great starting pitching by Royal Oak pitchers, throwing five scoreless innings. Barr surrendered only three hits and one walk, striking out six as well.
Once Barr came out of the game though, the Royal Oak bullpen did face some initial struggles. Sandusky did not go quietly by plating five runs across of their own in the top of the sixth, shelling Joseph Nelan (Marian) with five hits. Nelan exited the game after only recording two outs.
Both Aidan McWayne (Northwood) and Tyler Kapa (Davenport) both had scoreless outings to keep the game at 10-5. The Ice Haulers made it 10-6 with a run in the ninth, but it was all for naught. Nolan Coil (Calvin) struck out his man to finish off Sandusky, giving Royal Oak the win.
The Leprechauns will look to end their home schedule with four consecutive wins, as they face the rival Jet Box on Saturday at 7:05 p.m. That game will be the final chance for fans to catch Royal Oak at the Lucky Corner in the 2023 season. Following that, the Leprechauns will have two road games to end the year, also being against the Jet Box.