By Cam Huffman
Register-Herald Sports Editor
Woodrow Wilson junior Josh Rakes stood at the middle of the diamond at Shady Spring High School Thursday night, with all eyes focused in his direction.
His team led 4-2 in a Class AAA sectional tournament game against Oak Hill, but he was surrounded by Red Devils on every base, and there was only one out.
Rakes had already thrown more than 100 pitches, and he was admittedly a little gassed when Oak Hill’s Chris Hysell stepped into the batter’s box with ideas of changing the game with one swing.
That’s when Rakes found a little extra energy. He got Hysell — the Red Devil pitcher, who had a strong outing of his own — to fly to left field, too shallow for the runners to advance.
He then set down Daniel Pritt with his seventh strikeout of the game to give the Flying Eagles the 4-2 win.
Rakes’ only trouble came in the second inning when Oak Hill took a 1-0 lead on an Adam Jones RBI double to deep center field that rolled up the hill and scored a run.
That lead held until the fourth inning, when the Flying Eagles broke the game open with a four-spot.
Oak Hill cut into the lead in the sixth when Josh Lokant drove in a run on a groundout with runners at first and third. That gave the Red Devils some life, and they threatened by loading the bases on a pair of walks and a Bubba Smith single in the seventh. But Woodrow quickly put out the fire and ended the rally.
Oak Hill was led by Hysell, who finished 2-for-4, and Jones, who was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
Hysell pitched six innings, allowing four runs, only one earned, on seven hits and three walks. He struck out eight Flying Eagle hitters.
On in relief, Ray Sullivan struck out the side in the sixth, working around a walk.
Rain pushed an elimination game to the weekend. Results will appear in the Thursday Tribune.