The Tigers split the first two games of the 6A Quarterfinals with Oxford, losing 7-3 in the first game and bouncing back to win 4-1 in the second game.
Game 1: Oxford 7, Hartselle 3
Three Tiger errors led to four unearned runs for Oxford that proved to be the difference in game one of the series.
Oxford scored first with a run in the bottom of the second. Hartselle tied the score at 1-1 in the top of the fourth when Coleman Mizell scored on a wild pitch.
The Yellow Jackets added three runs in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-1 lead.
The Tigers cut the lead to 4-3 with two runs in the top of the fifth. After two quick outs, JoJo Williamson started the Hartselle rally with a walk. Glavine Segars walked in the next at bat to give the Tigers runners at first and second. Eli Snelson singled to right field that drove home Williamson from second. Eli Tidwell, who was running for Segars, scored two batters later when Brodie Morrow walked with the bases loaded.
Oxford added three runs in the bottom of the fifth to make the final score 7-3.
JT Blackwood picked up the loss for Hartselle. He allowed seven runs, three earned runs, on eight hits while striking out five in 4.2 innings. Auburn commit William Turner pitched 1.1 innings in relief, allowing no hits.
Game 2: Hartselle 4, Oxford 1
Auburn commit Elliott Bray turned in a strong outing for the Tigers when they needed him most, trailing 1-0 in the series. He allowed one run on three hits while striking out 13 in 6.2 innings of work.
The Tigers jumped out 2-0 when Snelson led off the inning with a double. Mizell then reached base on an Oxford error that allowed Snelson to score. Mizell stole second and advanced to third on an error by Oxford’s catcher. A Brodie Morrow sacrifice fly brought home Mizell and gave Hartselle a 2-0 lead.
The Tigers added to their lead in the bottom of the third when Snelson scored on a Morrow single. Snelson singled to get on base, stole second, and advanced to third following Mizell’s infield hit.
Hartselle added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth after Drew Cartee doubled to start the inning. He advanced to third on a Peyton Steele sacrifice bunt and scored on the first pitch of Bray’s at-bat.
Oxford scored one run in the top of the seventh to make the final score 4-1.
Cartee was 2-for-3 with a run scored to lead the Tigers. Snelson was 1-for-3 with two runs scored, while Mizell ended the game 1-for3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Hartselle (26-13) and Oxford (32-7) will play the deciding game three today at 5:30 at Oxford High School.