Diamond Chargers earn first ever NEMCABB win


The Oxford Eagle

The OHS baseball team poses for a picture after winning the NEMCABB tournament.

In June of 2016, the Oxford Chargers were in New Albany, MS competing in the annual NEMCABB tournament. This was not the first time Oxford has competed in the tournament, but it was the first time they made it past the second round in several years.

The heat in June can be unbearable, especially when competing, and Oxford became well aware of this after playing baseball in the middle of it. However, the team was able to persevere and overcome the uncomfortable feeling of the heat. Senior Duncan Graeber played a major role with two walk-off hits and multiple winning hits at the bottom of the seventh innings.

“The winning hits were awesome for sure,” Graeber said, “Growing up playing baseball, everyone just lays in bed and dreams of hitting a walk off to help your team win. Baseball is a team sport and you care more about your teammates than you do yourself, so it meant a lot to be able to pull through for my boys.”

With the tournament being in the summer, there are other complications besides the heat. A lot of players travel for vacation, travel team tournaments, and other sports. This is a large variable to deal with when it comes game time.

“Sam Bianco came through for us in the final day and replaced both catchers who had played all summer but were not there due to previously scheduled trips,” Head coach Chris Baughman said.

For Oxford, both catchers were out in the tournament due to pre-planned travels, but Oxford always finds a way. Sam Bianco played a major role in the tournament filling in as catcher.

“My brother, Drew, heard that both of their catchers would be out of town, and volunteered me for the spot,” freshman Sam Bianco said. “I use to play catcher when I was 11, but I hadn’t since then. Although I hadn’t played that position in a few years, I felt confident I could do the job and help the team.”

Bianco was not the only one switched around this year, though. Many players were “in positions they had yet to be in for this team due to a large number of seniors,” according to Baughman.

After breezing through the NEMCABB tournament, Oxford is confident that another state championship will be in their foreseeable future.

“It’s a no brainer,” said Graeber. “We are going to win state again for the third year in a row. Everyone in the state of Mississippi will see us back in jackson holding that gold glove for the third year in a row. Three-peat!”