BARTLESVILLE — The Ada A’s American Legion baseball team scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning and tacked on three more in the ninth for good measure to rally past the host Bartlesville Braves 8-4 in a Wednesday night road game.
The A’s improved to 15-6-1 heading in to the Texas Amateur Baseball Association State Tournament, scheduled for Friday and Saturday in Mineral Wells, Texas. The A’s received a first-round bye and will meet the winner of the Early, Texas, Longhorns and the Dallas Outlaws game at 3 p.m. Saturday in a semifinal contest. The championship game will follow at 7:30 p.m.
Ada A’s 8,
Bartlesville Braves 4
"We were a little complacent early and it got us in a little bit of a hole. But our guys kept grinding out at-bats and competed on the mound and we rallied late," said Ada A's head coach Jake Collins. "It was also our first scheduled nine-inning game of the summer which is a lot different for these kids. I thought we handled it pretty well. Any time you can get a win on the road, it's huge."
The A’s took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning when Latta’s Rylan Reed singled, went to second on an error, advanced to third on a groundout and eventually stole home.
In the top of the third, Reed drew a two-out walk and raced home on an RBI double by Roff’s Brady Benedict that put the visitors on top 2-0.
The Braves strung together back-to-back RBI hits in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 2-2.
Bartlesville snatched the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning when Britten Epperson scored on a passed ball and Brian Cox later came home on an RBI by Tanner Tate that put the hosts on top 4-2.
In the top of the eighth, Wetumka’s Tristan Huckleberry blasted a two-RBI double to cap the A’s three-run volley that put the Post 72 squad in front for the first time at 5-4.
The A’s scored two runs on passed balls and another on an RBI hit by Benedict to pull away. Benedict led a 12-hit Ada attack, finishing 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Aaron Dockery of Allen and Roff’s Coby Simon contributed two hits apiece for the A’s.
Reed went 1-for-3 and scored three runs for the locals. Morgan Turner of Holdenville, Matt Cox of Holdenville and Connor Owens of Roff also had hits for the Post 72 club.
Brian Cox led the Braves offense, finishing 3-for-3 with two runs scored and a walk.
Donovan Brown of Vanoss was the winner after pitching three scoreless innings in relief. He struck out five, walked two and allowed just one hit. Collin O’Grady of Byng started for Ada and tossed three innings. He struck out four, didn’t walk a batter and allowed just one earned run.
The A’s also got pitching help from Jared Keeton of Atoka, Conner Owens of Roff and Dockery. The five Ada pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts.
Alan Covarrubias went 7.2 innings for Bartlesville and absorbed the loss. He struck out six, walked four and allowed three earned runs.