Prep baseball | Out-of-Door Academy gets offensive in 11-5 win over Palmetto

ODA gets offensive in convincing win over Tigers

jlembo@bradenton.comMarch 20, 2013 

PALMETTO -- From ringing doubles to productive outs to manufactured runs, Out-of-Door Academy's lineup did a little bit of everything Tuesday night.

More importantly, however, is what the Thunder didn't do a lot of against Palmetto.

Strike out.

ODA struck out just once, which is why it was able to mount an 11-5 win over the host Tigers.

Outs are outs, whether a hitter swings and misses or has a deep fly flagged down at the warning track.

On Tuesday night, however, the Thunder gave a tutorial on the importance of putting the ball in play.

"That's our game," Thunder coach Billy Dietrich said. "We're a gap-to-gap team and we do the little things to make us succeed.

"But (Tuesday), we hit the ball."

Early and often.

ODA (11-3) took a 1-0 lead in the first, but saw just 13 pitches. And when the Tigers drew even in the third, the Thunder scored three more times in the fourth on the strength of three doubles to right- and left-center field.

Every Thunder starter reached base at least once Tuesday, and ODA got production from the top of its lineup -- leadoff batter Jake Romine went 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored -- to the bottom, as Nos. 8 and 9 hitters Parke Phillips and Brad Jones teamed to drive in three runs.

"We came out ready to play," Dietrich said.

Jimmy Kuebler handled things on the mound, going

the distance while striking out 12.

Consequently, ODA beat its second straight Class 6A opponent following last week's win over Lakewood Ranch.

"We look forward to the competition," said Dietrich, whose team's lineup Tuesday featured one senior (Alex Horan, who drove in two runs and scored two more), six sophomores, a freshman and an eighth-grader.

"Our kids come out ready to play, and they do the right things. They do the little things they're supposed to do."

Palmetto (5-6) vaulted back into the game during a two-run fifth inning, which sliced the Tigers' deficit to 5-3.

But Palmetto lost all its momentum in the sixth, when four errors contributed to the Thunder's six-run rally.

"When you have four errors and give up six unearned runs, it's going to be deflating," said Tigers coach Phil Olson. "But the kids kept fighting, kept getting on base. We had chances of scoring runs, and their pitcher did a great job getting out of jams."

Brett Vedder had two hits and two RBIs, and John Collins went 3-for-4 with two RBIs for the Tigers, who play District 12 rival Lakewood Ranch on Friday before competing in next week's Sarasota Baseball Classic.

"We've got some things we've got work on, starting (today), to get ready for Friday," Olson said. "We'll hopefully get that taken care of by Friday so we'll be a little bit better."

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