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Fortner on fire Byng ace Brandon Fortner retired 12 of the last 13 batters he faced, and the Pirates bounced the host squad, 14-1, Thursday at the McLoud Tournament. Pool play wrapped up for Byng this morning with a game against the OKC Broncos, with the winner wrapping up the runner-up spot in the pool.

Photo by Richard R. Barron
Ada Evening News

Byng did a classic flip-flop — or, more accurately, a flop-flip — Thursday at the McLoud Tournament.

After flopping in an 11-2 run-rule loss to Class 2A No. 3 Dale Wednesday afternoon, the Pirates flipped on host McLoud Thursday, routing the Redskins, 14-1, in five innings. The victory kept alive Byng’s hopes for the runner-up spot in its pool and a chance to play for third place Saturday.

Dale all but wrapped up the top spot in Byng’s pool with a victory over the Edmond Memorial junior varsity Thursday, but a win over the OKC Broncos this morning would give the local squad a 2-1 pool play record and at least a tie for second behind Dale.

Although Thursday’s victory was a complete reversal from the Dale loss, both games started the same way — with the leadoff man for each team reaching base and scoring. This time, though, Byng pitchers (starter Brandon Fortner and reliever Tyler Pierce) stopped the bleeding after just one run scored, and Will Olds’ double to left-center on Fortner’s first pitch was the only McLoud hit of the game.

For the second straight day, Byng leadoff hitter Reid Wall scored the game’s first run. He singled to right, moved to second when Jake Scroggins was hit by a pitch with one out and scored on Jake Wellington’s clutch two-out, line-drive single to center.

Olds scored the tying run in the bottom of the inning on a one-out groundout by James Goad, but that was the last hint of a threat for the Redskins. Fortner retired 12 of the 13 batters he faced after Olds’ hit, and Pierce — who pitched two-plus innings of scoreless relief against the powerful Dale lineup a day earlier — worked a 1-2-3 fifth inning to end the game on the run rule.

The Pirates (8-7) took the lead for good with a five-run third-inning rally fueled by three McLoud errors, added a run in the fourth and put the game away with seven runs on five hits in the top of the fifth.

Jake Scroggins was hit by a pitch leading off the third, moved to third on an errant pickoff attempt by losing pitcher Zach Smith and scored to go-ahead run on Ryan Williams’ ringing double to the wall in right-center. Williams later scored on an error, and nine-hole hitter Justin Frazier capped the rally with a two-run homer to left (following a single to right by Cody Williams) to make it 6-1.

Scroggins doubled to the wall in left-center leading off the fourth and scored on a passed ball, then two more McLoud errors kept Byng’s big fifth-inning rally alive.

Frazier led off the fifth with an infield hit, moved to third on an error and scored on a wild pitch. Scroggins and Ryan Williams drove in runs with back-to-back doubles later in the inning, and Pierce — the third of four straight pinch hitters used by Byng coach Shawn Streater — closed out the scoring with a two-run homer to left.

Wall, Scroggins, Nemecek, Frazier and Ryan Williams had two hits apiece to pace Byng’s 15-hit attack. Ten of the 13 Pirates who batted had at least one hit, and two of the other three scored a run in the victory. Scroggins reached base in all four of his plate appearances (he was hit by pitch in the first two) and scored three runs.