Watch: Monmouth pushes past Oak Hill with big fourth inning

May 29—MONMOUTH — A big fourth inning sparked Monmouth Academy to an 8-3 baseball win over Oak Hill.

The game provided a challenge before both teams start their postseason journeys. Monmouth (15-1) is looking to defend its Class C state title, while Oak Hill (12-4) hopes to make a run in the Class B South playoffs.

"It's a really good test before playoffs," Monmouth center fielder Jake Harmon said. "They are a really good team, one of the best teams we have seen all year."

The game went into the bottom of the fourth with the scored tied 1-1.

Carter O'Connell broke the stalemate with a two-run double that put the Mustangs up 3-1.

"The bat has been dead a little bit recently, but I kicked it back today," O'Connell said. "I had a really good day."

O'Connell later scored on a Kyle Palleschi single for a 4-1 lead. Jake Harmon added an RBI single to drive home Brandon Smith who reached on a walk earlier in the inning.

A balk during Luke Harmon's at-bat brought in Kyle Palleschi for another run, then Luke Harmon drove in his younger brother to cap off the six-run inning and push Monmouth's advantage to 7-1.

The Raiders got a run back in the top of the fifth. Logan Langlois reached on an error, stole second, moved to third on a Landen Denis single, then scored on a wild pitch.

Monmouth's Rory Foyt started the bottom of the inning with a triple down the right-field line. O'Connell drove him in with a long single to right center that made the lead 8-2.

"He was getting on base, getting my RBIs," O'Connell said of Foyt. "He was really hitting the ball really well today. Getting that triple was huge."

Foyt also scored on O'Connell's two-run single in the fourth.

"It was good to see Rory get on base," Monmouth coach Eric Palleschi said. "The ball he hit down the right-field line was really well-hit."

Monmouth tried to bring O'Connell home with back-to-back sac bunts, but Oak Hill pitcher Trent Drouin was able to strand him at third.

Oak Hill attempted a seventh inning rally that began when pinch hitter David Hall reached on an error. He was replaced at first by pinch runner Kaleb Langlois. After a single by Denis, Landon Bangs drove in Langlois.

A Cooper Spencer walk loaded the bases, but fly out ended the game.

"We had some threats," Oak Hill coach Chad Stowell said. "We left the bases loaded in the seventh inning; it was a pretty good threat there. We battled. It's good to see this type of pitching because we are a week from the playoffs, and we will see some pretty tough pitching in the Class B South bracket."

The Raiders also threatened to score in the top of the first inning. Denis hit a one-out double, but Drouin sent a a fly ball to center that Jake Harmon tracked down. Denis got caught between second and third without tagging up, and Monmouth made the force out at second for a double play.

"The ball was hit pretty hard," Jake Harmon said. "I had a good read on it, but it kept carrying and kind of forced me to back pedal a little bit. I was stumbling and threw my glove out to make the catch. Luckily enough, I doubled off the runner at second."

Both starting pitchers were on the mark early, including Monmouth's Kyle Palleschi, who faced the minimum through three innings.

"It took two or three innings to feel each other out, and to figure out how each pitcher was attacking," Eric Palleschi said.

Drouin retired the first seven Monmouth batters in order, but Levi Laverdiere had an infield single. He moved over to second on a sac bunt by Smith and to third when Palleschi reached on an error. Jake Harmon's single up the middle scored Laverdiere for a 1-0 Mustangs lead.

"Oak Hill had a really good pitcher out there, one of the best we've seen," Jake Harmon said. "Just keeping my approach simple at the plate."

Palleschi ran into a speed bump with two outs in the fourth. Bangs walked and Spencer had an infield single. Braden New sprayed a single into right to score Bangs. Palleschi walked Eli Gosselin to load the bases but then he got out of the jam to keep the score 1-1.

"We knew they were going to swing the bats, and they did," Eric Palleschi said. "They hit some balls hard and we caught a couple of breaks, Jake makes that great play in the outfield."

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