WALES – Josh Jillson and Ethan Guerette have been here before.

The only two seniors who start for Oak Hill, Jillson and Guerette, remember last year’s Class B state title run like it was yesterday.

And they each did everything in their power to make sure things started off the same this year.

Jillson pitched six strong innings – striking out 11 and allowing just one unearned run – and Guerette scored four times to lead the No. 7 Raiders to an 11-1 preliminary round win over No. 10 Yarmouth on Wednesday, one day after rain washed out their first attempt to play the game.

“We’re a young team. Thats where the 9-7 record came from,” Oak Hill coach Chad Drouin said. “We made some young mistakes earlier in the season, but this is what we prepare for, to play in the playoffs and to move on each individual game.”

Last year, Oak Hill also earned the No. 7 seed in Western Class B, and emerged as the state champion.

“It’s a little too familiar right now,” Jillson admitted. “It’s a weird feeling. It feels like last year, but with different guys, obviously.”

“Even though we came in at a low seed, the same seed as last year, we keep telling ourselves we can do it,” Guerette said.

Jillson set the tone early from the mound. The lefty struck out eight of the first nine batters he faced, and faced the minimum after picking Yarmouth’s Jeff Melville off at first base.

And he wasn’t even supposed to have started the game. Chris Ellis was scheduled to start the game Tuesday, but the game was called due to weather.

“Had (Ellis) not gone through his whole warm-up, and all of his bullpen sessions already, he might still have gone (Wednesday),” Drouin said. “But after all of that, we felt it was better to go with Jillson.”

On offense, Guerette smacked a triple to lead off the game, and trotted home on a Jillson triple two hitters later. The Raiders managed nine runs in four innings on just seven hits off of two Yarmouth pitchers.

“All of a sudden our bats are alive,” Drouin said. “We’ve scored 39 runs in the last three games. Everybody said our weak point this year was our offense, and that’s starting to come alive now.”

The Clippers plated their only run in the top of the fifth. Chad Arndt reach on a throwing error by third baseman Ben Rines, stole second and moved to third on a ground out. He scored on a passed ball.

Oak Hill finished the game off with a run in the fifth and another in the sixth, also on a passed ball.

The Raiders will visit No. 2 Greely this afternoon in the Western Class B quarterfinals.


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