BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP - Kyle Andrews, Beau Hall and a few others rescued the Ocean City High School baseball team's winning streak and Cape-Atlantic League National Conference lead against Buena Regional on Thursday.
Andrews pitched seven innings and had a key RBI single, and center fielder Hall blasted a game-winning solo homer as Ocean City rallied to beat Buena 3-2 in eight innings. The Red Raiders, ranked seventh in The Press Elite 11, have won 14 straight games.
Ocean City is 17-3 overall and leads the the National Conference with a 12-1 mark.
The Red Raiders have four conference games remaining, starting with today's game at home against Lower Cape May Regional. Buena dropped to 18-5 overall and 12-2 National, with both its conference losses to Ocean City.
"This team has great team chemistry, character and heart," said Ocean City coach Craig Mensinger. "We've won a lot of one-run games. It's always tough to come up here, because Buena is well-coached with a lot to talent.
"We kept plugging, and different players hit for us. Kyle and (Christian Candeloro) get big hits and Beau wins it with a homer. You can't write it any better."
Hall belted a 1-1 pitch over the left-field fence to lead off the top of the eighth inning to put O.C. up 3-2. Ocean City closer Sean Mooney struck out two and got the save in the bottom of the inning.
"We've had a few close calls in our streak and we were definitely nervous when it was 1-0," said senior Hall, 18, a resident of Seaville in Upper Township. "I was just looking for one pitch to hit well. I didn't want to try to do too much, that's when you pop up."
Andrews (5-1) gave up two runs on eight hits, but looked to be the losing pitcher until he hit an RBI single that tied it at 1-1 with one out in the top of the seventh. Andrews stole second, and Candeloro drove him in with a single to right center to make it 2-1.
"I just tried to square it up and hit one down the middle," said Andrews, an 18-year-old senior from Ocean City. "I still felt strong after seven innings (of pitching) but they were starting to catch up to my fastball, so we had to throw somebody else in there. Sean is our man. He always does what we need him to do in a tough situation."
Buena's Jarred Corniell singled in Marco Rios to tie the game at 2-2 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. Andrews ended the inning with a strikeout.
The Chiefs' other run was singled in by Buena starting pitcher Denny Brady in the third inning.
"We played a good game but we needed a couple more hits," Buena's first-year coach Harry Grose said. "We threw Beau a changeup and he was on it. It wasn't a bad pitch, but Hall can really hit."
Contact Guy Gargan:
Ocean City 000 000 21-3 6 4
Buena Regional 001 000 10-2 8 3
WP-Andrews 3k (5-1. LP-Cartier 0k.
Records-O.C. 17-3, Buena 18-5.