Ashton Kennison’s Oxford Hills teammates wait for him to cross the plate to celebrate Kennison’s solo home run that put the Vikings on the board 1-0 during the fourth inning against Edward Little High School on Tuesday. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

AUBURN — A budding pitchers duel between Oxford Hills’ Wyatt Williamson and Edward Little’s Ben Cassidy took a bad turn for Cassidy and the Red Eddies with one swing of Ashton Kennison’s bat in the fourth inning of Tuesday’s KVAC game at windy Auburn Suburban Little League’s Austin Field.

Kennison’s one-out solo home run opened the floodgates for the Vikings, who scored 13 more times over the next two innings and got a two-hit shutout from Williamson in a 14-0 win in five innings.

Williamson struck out seven and walked one to earn the shutout. He also scored two runs and drove in one at the plate. Kennison also scored twice and drove in a pair, while Rodney Bean went went 2-for-4 with a double and three runs batted in.

Oxford Hills improved to 13-0 while EL dropped to 9-4.

Cassidy worked around a hit batter and walk in the first and another walk in the second and had retired seven in a row, striking out four of the last five hitters, when he fell behind Kennison, 3-2, with one out in the fourth. The Vikings’ first baseman turned on the payoff pitch and drove it over the fence in right field for the game’s run.

“That did it right there, I thought,” Oxford Hills coach Shane Slicer said. “We’d struck out four out of five times going into that and I was like, geez, we’ve just got to put the ball in play, especially with this weather. Well, Ashton put one in play, all right, and then it just kind of steamrolled from there.”

“That was huge by Ashton to do that,” Williamson said. “That really started us off.”

Williamson and Cade Truman followed Kennison with back-to-back walks, then Will Dieterich hit a bloop into short right field that second baseman Jake Arel couldn’t reach with a dive. Williamson scored, while an errant throw to third allowed Truman to come home to make it 3-0.

After Chase Martin snared Jonny Pruett’s liner to third for the second out, Ethan Cutler singled and Cam Slicer walked to load the bases. Bean made it 5-0 with a single that scored Dieterich and a throwing error that plated Cutler before Slicer was thrown out at third for the final out of the inning.

“They’re a great team, and once they get rolling, it’s tough to hold them down,” Edward Little coach Dave Jordan said. “They can score a lot of runs quickly.”

The first 10 Oxford Hills hitters reached in the nine-run fifth, which was highlighted by RBI doubles by Dieterich, Pruett and Bean, sacrifice flies by Kennison and Williamson, and two more EL errors.

“We feel like every single time someone is up to bat this year we know there’s a really good chance they’re going to come through and get a big hit,” Williamson said. “It’s a big difference this year.”

Williamson had only one tricky inning, the second. Cassidy reached on an infield hit and Ethan Brown singled before Jack Keefe’s sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third. Williamson escaped the jam with a strikeout and groundout to third.

“I was just trying to fire strikes,” Williamson said. “When they hit the ball, I knew my team was going to field it, so I wasn’t trying to walk anybody. I was definitely in a rhythm today.”

“He pitched really well,” Slicer said. “He was focused all week. He’s a gamer. It’s one of those where every time he steps on the mound he’s ready to go. He was commanding his pitches, throwing fairly hard and defensively we finally played a little better than we have the last few games (zero errors).”

That started a string of nine consecutive Eddies retired by Williamson until he issued a lead-off walk to Keefe in the fifth. He struck out two of the next three to complete the Vikings’ sixth shutout win of the season.

Will Dieterich of Oxford Hills runs home to put the Vikings up 4-0 during the fourth inning against Edward Little High School on Tuesday. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Edward Little High School second baseman Jake Arel comes up short while attempting to make a play on a fly ball during Tuesday’s game against Oxford Hills. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Oxford Hills’ pitcher Wyatt Williamson, right, talks with his catcher, Andrew Merrill during Tuesday’s game against Edward Little. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Edward Little High School relief pitcher Jack Keefe fields a pop up during Tuesday’s game against Oxford Hills. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Edward Little High School second baseman Jake Arel makes the tag on Cam Slicer of Oxford Hills during a steal attempt in Auburn on Tuesday. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

Rod Bean of Oxford Hills beats the throw to Edward Little catcher Will Cassidy to score a run for the vikings in Auburn on Tuesday. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover


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