Haddox, Oak Glen Bounce Weir, 11-1
NEW MANCHESTER – Oak Glen all-stater Bub Haddox pitched and batted his Golden Bears to the West Virginia Class A Region One, Section One championship with a 11-1, six-inning victory against Hancock County rival Weir High on Tuesday at the Field of Dreams on the Oak Glen campus.
It was Oak Glen’s second straight sectional victory and with it the Golden Bears earned another trip to the Region One semifinal game, which they won last season.
While the Bears, who take a 14-12 record to Ravenswood to play the Red Devils at 6:30 p.m. next Monday, went into the bottom of the sixth inning ahead 10-1. Haddox was the first batter up in the inning to face relief pitcher Michael Curtis.
Haddox took the first pitch for a ball, but crushed the second offering and watched it sail over the right-center field fence for a walk-off home run.
It was Haddox who slugged a walk-off homer last year in approximately the same spot to give the Golden Bears a 2-1 victory against Ritchie County.
“I was just trying to get on base,” Haddox said. “We just wanted to end it as soon as we could. We were up nine runs and we just wanted to get it over with.
“He threw me a curve ball, but I was real proud of the way everyone played. We really came back after Monday. We showed up.”
The Red Riders, who finished the season 5-14, thumped Oak Glen, 10-1, on Monday night in the first game of the sectional series, but the Golden Bears came back to down the Riders 14-9 on Tuesday forcing the deciding game.
Both Haddox and victorious coach Matt DeVeaney felt the Golden Bears took Weir too lightly in the first game.
“I don’t know what was the difference,” said Haddox, who will take his baseball talents to West Liberty next year. “I guess we just took them too lightly. I think it was good for us to have some competition to show we are not invincible. I’m really excited to go down to Ravenswood. They are tough, but we’ll see how tough they are.”
“In retrospect, I think it was better for us to lose that first game,” said DeVeaney, who is in his second season as the Oak Glen mentor. “It made us realize we weren’t perfect and they (Weir High) weren’t going to come out and roll over for us.