Redhawks end tough week with loss to York

BLYTHEWOOD – Westwood kept Friday night’s game against York close through six innings before York took their 4-0 lead into the seventh inning and blew the game open against their Region III-4A rivals.

The Cougars sent 13 batters to the plate in a 9-run seventh to put the hammer down on a 13-0 shutout of the Redhawks.

Westwood pitchers gave up 12 hits, but the Redhawks’ defense committed seven errors that helped the Cougars’ cause.

“That’s a pretty ugly way to finish a really good ballgame,” Westwood head coach Vince Connor said. “If we could make a play here or there, we could come out and at least still play with them.”

Justin Davis (9) fights against his own momentum for the throw to first. | Leroy Howard

It turned out to be a rough night for Matthew Oxendine, who took the loss for the Redhawks (3-5 overall, 1-2 region). Oxendine worked 6 1/3 innings before Hayden Caldwell came in for relief.

Oxendine gave up five runs on five hits, but struck out six and walked two.

“Ox was throwing really well, but he was getting kind of high in his pitch count,” Connor said. “He was a little higher than I wanted to get tonight anyway. Hayden had been throwing the ball well for us, but it seemed like everything we threw for a strike, they barreled up.”

Caldwell’s relief appearance didn’t stop York’s momentum at the plate. The Westwood reliever faced six batters for no outs. The Cougars got four runs on four hits and an error on a bases-loaded fielder’s choice.

Westwood reliever Joey Gonzales managed to get the final two outs of the inning. York got three hits on Gonzales, including Parks’ 3-run bomb to left centerfield.

“We had two legit college arms out there,” Connor said. “We have issues scoring runs when we have chances. That team’s not 13 runs better than us. They’re not.”

Even if not, Parks and the rest of the Cougars had no problem with Westwood.

Westwood had several opportunities to get some runs but baserunning gaffes and strikeouts plagued the efforts.

Ethan Barton got the Redhawks’ only double with one out in the second. Then Brandon Anderson lined out to the second baseman, and Barton was tagged out to complete the double play.

With one out in the third, Elijah Heatley legged out an infield tapper to get on. After Bryce Henson grounded out, Joseph Bennington singled to put runners at first and third for Barton. Unfortunately for the Redhawks, Barton struck out to end the inning.

Edwin Olmera, who went 2-for-3, was the only other offensive highlight. He singled in the fifth, and was the only Redhawk to reach base in the final innings.

“We’ve been struggling with some situational stuff,” Connor said. “We probably should have scored two or three runs against them.”

Friday night’s game concluded an 0-3 week for the Redhawks, 3-5 on the year. Westwood lost 7-2 at Richland Northeast Tuesday and 10-5 to Irmo Wednesday, both non-region games.

York – 0-0-1-1-2-0-9-13-12-1

WHS – 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-4-7

WP: Nick Clayton LP: Matthew Oxendine

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