E.A. Sports Today

Oxford finds answers

Oxford completes Choccolocco Park Spring Break Experience 8-3, finds answers for road ahead

Caden Higgins (4) was comfortable whether batting first or ninth in the Oxford lineup. (Photos by B.J. Franklin/GungHo Photos)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

OXFORD — Wes Brooks came into the Choccolocco Park Spring Break Experience looking for answers and he found more than he hoped.

The sixth-ranked Yellow Jackets completed their Experience Saturday with a couple run-rule wins over Weaver (19-8) and Spring Garden (15-0).

Brooks was looking to solidify the 7-8-9 spots in his lineup, but along the way he strengthened his outfield and maybe even found another leadoff hitter.

The short version is outfielders Jack Peavey, Carson Lindsey and Judd Moore batted 7-8-9 and played center, right and left, respectively, and gave Brooks the positive reinforcement to the answers he was seeking.

“We found both at the same time,” Brooks said. “I don’t know if the nod, but maybe the order in which we’re doing things, yes, I got answers today, 7-8-9-1 or 6-7-8-9-1, however you look at it.

“We gave those three outfielders a chance to compete, one more shot, and the three of them played great. A player is either hot, getting hot, cold or getting cold. I saw today three guys out there getting hot.”

Before the game assistant coach Scott Peavey took the outfielders down the right-field line to explain the situation and they embraced it.

Against Spring Garden, Peavey was 2-for-4 with four RBIs, Lindsey was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Moore was 1-for-3 with one RBI. Peavey had a hit and four RBIs from the seventh spot against Weaver.

With that lineup configuration and Brody Syer in the DH spot against Spring Garden, Caden Higgins was elevated from the 9-hole he occupied against Weaver to leadoff and provided Brooks “a little bit of rhythm” with his options.

Higgins was 2-for-4 as the leadoff hitter against Spring Garden; he singled and scored in his first at-bat. He was 2-for-3 in the 9-hole against Weaver and singled and scored in that first at-bat.

“It really doesn’t change anything from my mindset,” Higgins said. “I’m just out there trying to get on base to create opportunities for my teammates to knock me in. Leadoff is just another spot in the lineup. I like being leadoff, but … wherever (Brooks) wants me, I’m going to do my best in that spot.”

Basically, when Syer is pitching, all three outfielders will be in the game. When Syer’s not on the mound, two of the three will be in the outfield corners. When Syer is pitching or the DH, Moore is in left field, Lindsey’s in right and Peavey’s in center.

“I think we have the best outfield in the state, no doubt, no matter who’s in there,” Moore said.

The event was barely over for Oxford when Brooks expressed his vision for its future. He talked of perhaps separate small-school and large-school components without interfering with the scheduling of other major spring-break events.

Oxford 19, Weaver 8
Oxford 282 43 — 19 13 7
Weaver 015 20 — 8 6 4

WP: Wesley Sparks. LP: Drake Monroe. 2B: Dalton Hamby (W). 3B: Jack Peavey (O), Jarin Turner (O). Hits – Oxford: Brody Syer, Reece Howard, Nathan Lloyd, Jarin Turner, Jacob Sears 3, Heyden Lindsey 2, Jack Peavey, Connor Syer, Caden Higgins 2; Weaver: Dalton Hamby, Jadon Calhoun, Tyrik Hall, Austin Bryant, Nick Souder, Chris Lemon. RBIs – Oxford: Brody Syer, Carson Lindsey, Jarin Turner 4, Jacob Sears 2, Heyden Lindsey 2, Jack Peavey 4, Connor Syer; Weaver: Austin Bryant, Tyler Perez, Nick Souder.

Oxford 15, Spring Garden 0
Oxford 213 27 — 15 14 0
Spring Garden 000 00 — 0 2 2

WP: Trey Mooney. LP: Colby Slayton. 2B: Jack Peavey (O), Nathan Lloyd 2 (O), Carson Lindsey (O). HR: Brody Syer (O). Hits – Oxford: Caden Higgins 2, Brennan McCullough, Nathan Lloyd 2, Derek Miller, Brody Syer, Jacob Sears 2, Jack Peavey 2, Carson Lindsey 2, Judd Moore; Spring Garden – Ben Ivey 2. RBIs – Oxford: Caden Sparks, Nathan Lloyd, Brody Syer 2, Jacob Sears, Jack Peavey 4, Carson Lindsey 2, Judd Moore.

Jack Peavey had four RBIs in each of Oxford’s victories Saturday.

To see more photos from the Oxford-Weaver game, go to www.bjfranklin.smugmug.com

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