In the first home game of the season Thursday, the Oak Ridge High baseball team fell 8-5 to Bella Vista in nonleague play.
The Broncos overcame a 5-4 deficit with three runs in the fifth and another in the sixth.
Behind 4-2 entering the bottom of the fourth inning, Oak Ridge took a 5-4 lead as Jake Hathaway singled to left field and Brogan Cooper and Jon Seim (2-for-3) successfully reached on back-to-back bunt hits to bring up Mickey Meinhofer who was hit by a pitch to force in a run.
Oak Ridge tied the game at 4-all when Chris Roppolo hit into a fielder’s choice to score Seim. Though Cooper was thrown out at third on the play, Tanner Ales hit a deep sacrifice fly to center to drive in Meinhofer to give the Trojans (1-2) the lead.
“There’s a few guys who were better today than they were the other day,” said Oak Ridge head coach Todd Melton. “There are things that we’re going to build on.”
Oak Ridge’s lead didn’t last long. In the top of the fifth, Bella Vista scored three times off three hits and a Trojan error to take a 7-5 lead.
“There’s things we can do that we can fix,” Melton said. “Once we fix them, we will be fine. We’ve got some young guys playing varsity ball. We’ll get there — it’s going to be a process.”
In the final three innings, Oak Ridge mustered only two hits. Bella Vista scored its final run in the top of the sixth.
The two teams traded leads early in the game. Oak Ridge jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Kyle Barisone hit into a fielder’s choice, then scored on a double to left field by Cooper (2-for-3, RBI).
After Bella Vista scored three times in the top of the third inning, Oak Ridge chipped awaywhen Logan Denholm (3-for-3, RBI) smoked a fastball over the left field fence to make it 4-2.