ROFF — When the 16th Roff Spring Tournament started on Thursday, there was a chance that two of the three local teams in the field could advance to the championship game. After Day 1, it became possible that two of the locals could make the finals — tournament-host Roff and Stonewall. At the end of Day 2 on Friday, that possibility became a reality.
The Tigers run ruled the Rattan Rams 8-0 in five innings in the final semifinal contest of the night Friday at Tiger Field.
But for the second straight day, the Longhorns posted a come-from-behind victory. After rallying from a 6-0 deficit Thursday afternoon to defeat the Caney Cougars in the opening round, the ’Horns rallied from being down 5-0 to earn a 9-7 comeback victory over the Lookeba-Sickles Panthers.
In fact, it was a good day for all locals on Friday. Day 2 began with the Vanoss Wolves getting their first win of the tournament as they eliminated Caney 7-6 in the first consolation semifinal to reach Saturday morning’s consolation championship against the Fort Towson Tigers, a 10-3 winner over Ripley to eliminate the Warriors from the tournament.
However, due to Saturday’s rain, the final day of the tournament was washed out. Roff High School athletic director Mike Stewart said that no make-up date has been set, and that things might be left up to each school involved in all three games to decide when, or if, they will get together to play their respective match-up.
Roff 8, Rattan 0
While it was a run-rule win for Class B’s top-ranked team (26-1), it sure did not start out that way.
The Rams (19-6), ranked fourth in Class A, took advantage of two Roff errors to almost be the first team to score. With two outs in the top of the first, Dustin Davidson reached base on the first Roff miscue.
Then, Sonny Winship hit a fly ball to left field, which was dropped. Davidson, who reached third base on that miscue, tried to score on the play — and likely would have, except for one bit of misfortune. Davidson stumbled between third base and home, thus getting caught into a rundown — which ended with him being tagged out by Roff catcher Brendon Barr for the final out to keep the game scoreless.
The Tigers responded with Brendan McCurry hitting a one-out, solo home run — his 18th of the season, and 122nd of his record-setting career high school total — to give Roff a 1-0 lead after an inning.
The Rams tried to get another rally going in the second inning, once again thanks to a Roff error. With one out, Landon Carper reached first base on an error, but ended up getting picked off first base by Roff pitcher Blake Logan to end the inning.
After that, Logan (6-0) retired five of the next six batters — and had that one lone batter who reached (Logan Brown) get caught stealing — to keep a no-hitter in tact through three innings. After retiring the side in order in the fourth inning, the Roff starting pitcher gave up Rattan’s only hit — a two-out single by Tanner McAdams. That was followed by Logan hitting Brett Mack to put runners at first and second. But Logan got out of that jam when Cullen Mack hit into a forceout to end the inning. For the game, Logan had six strikeouts in five innings of work.
Meanwhile, it took a five-run second inning for the Tigers to put some distance between them and the Rams. A McCurry RBI groundout, a two-RBI double by Dayne Parker and a two-out, two-run home run by Barr (his ninth round-tripper of the season) produced five runs and gave the tournament hosts a 6-0 lead after two innings.
A two-out, RBI double by Parker upped the Roff lead to 7-0 after three innings.
But it took a Rattan error to end the game. With two outs, Parker tripled, and scored as Carper, Rattan’s catcher, tried to pick him off at third, but his throw went into left field to allow Parker to touch home — and end the game by run rule.
Parker was a perfect 3-for-3 with two runs scored and three runs batted in, McCurry was 2-for-4 with a run scored and two RBIs and Barr was 1-for-2 with his two-run homer and a run scored for Roff.
In defeat, McAdams was 1-for-2 for Rattan. Jonathan Samuels (7-1) suffered his first loss of the season for the Rams.
Stonewall 9, Lookeba-Sickles 7
Down 5-0 after three innings, the Longhorns (10-9), ranked 16th in Class A, started their comeback. An RBI double by Colton Anderson, a sacrifice fly by Brandon Elmore and a two-out, RBI single by Josh Scribner cut the Lookeba-Sickles lead to 5-3 after four innings.
The ’Horns took the lead for good in the fifth inning. A two-run home run by Dakota McCollum (his second homer of the season, both coming at Tiger Field), a Lookeba-Sickles error and consecutive suicide-squeeze bunts by Cord Hendley and Zeke Munday produced five runs for an 8-5 lead.
The Panthers (18-10), ranked seventh in Class B, cut the deficit to 8-6 after five innings on a two-out, RBI double by Lupe Galvan.
Stonewall got that run back in the sixth inning on an RBI groundout by Anderson to up the advantage to 9-6.
Lookeba-Sickles also scored once in the sixth on Landon Dixon’s two-out, RBI single to cut the deficit to 9-7 after six innings.
After Panther relief pitcher Kent Callison retired the Longhorns in order in the seventh inning, Lookeba-Sickles had one more chance. Now facing McCollum, pitching in relief for the ’Horns for the second straight day, got a two-out walk to Dylan Taylor, but McCollum got Galvan to hit into a forceout to end the game — and get the ’Horns their second straight come-from-behind victory.
“They’re wearing me out,” Stonewall coach Chuck Barton said. “They’re learning how to battle. We’re finding a way to score runs late.”
For the game, McCollum (4-2 with his second straight win in relief for the Longhorns) was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and two runs batted in.
In defeat, Dixon (5-2 after suffering the loss) was 3-for-4 with two RBIs for the Panthers.
Vanoss 7, Caney 6
The Wolves (18-8), ranked sixth in Class 2A, took advantage of the fact that Caney starting pitcher Kevin Henry did not have command of his pitches. The Cougar moundsman lasted only two-thirds of an inning, faced 12 batters and gave up seven runs.
Trailing 3-0, Vanoss scored its first two runs on an error and a wild pitch to cut the deficit to 3-2. Then, a two-out, two-RBI single by Brett Lamb, followed by a two-run single by Eric Osborn (now batting for the second time in the inning) and an RBI single by Dal Willoughby (also batting for his second time in the frame) produced five more runs for a 7-3 lead after an inning.
But Caney relief pitcher Chase Crites, after giving up the RBI single to Willoughby, retired the next batter, and kept Vanoss off the scoreboard the rest of the game. That in turn, allowed the Cougars (14-8), ranked sixth in Class B, the chance to come back — and they almost did.
The game stayed 7-3 until the fifth inning when a lead-off, solo home run by Skylar Adair cut the deficit to 7-4 after five.
In the seventh inning, now facing Vanoss reliever Osborn, Caney got a lead off single by Aaron Chalk, who hit two home runs in an 11-7 loss to Stonewall on Thursday, and a two-run homer by Landon Green, his second homer in as many days, to cut the Vanoss lead to 7-6.
The very next batter, Crites, looked like he might have tied up the game with a long fly ball to left field, but Vanoss left fielder Lamb caught the ball just at the base of the fence for the first out of the inning. Then, Osborn got Dustin Eagleberger and Hunter Mills to ground out to third base to end the game, and preserve the Vanoss victory.
For the game, Osborn was 2-for-3 with two runs batted in and a run scored, Willoughby was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Lamb was 1-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored for Vanoss. Casey Henry (5-2) got the win for the Wolves.
In defeat, Crites was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored, Adair was 1-for-4 with a homer, a run scored and an RBI and Green was 1-for-4 with his two-run homer and two runs scored for Caney. Kevin Henry (5-3) suffered the loss for the Cougars.