If the opening day is any indication, all the games in this weekend’s David Hill-Ryan Prescott Memorial Tournament at Stokes Field are going to be very competitive — and enjoyable for the fans.
In Thursday’s four opening-round games, none of the contests were either run ruled or won by double digits. The biggest margin of victory was four runs, twice, as the Latta Panthers shut out the Prague Red Devils 4-0 and the McLoud Redskins rallied from a 2-0 deficit to down the Glenpool Warriors 6-2.
The tournament hosts, the Byng Pirates, opened the day by blanking the Sulphur Bulldogs 3-0, while the Coalgate Wildcats won the other opening-round game 8-5 over the Seminole Chieftains as all four games each were played in less than two hours.
The championship semifinals were to have the Panthers meeting the Redskins at 4 this afternoon, followed by the Pirates facing the Wildcats at 6:30 tonight. The winners will play for the tournament title at 4 p.m. Saturday, while the losers will play for third place at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
On the consolation side, the Red Devils were to play the Warriors at 11 this morning, while the Bulldogs were scheduled to meet the Chieftains at 1:30 this afternoon. The winners will play for the consolation championship at 11 a.m. Saturday, while the losers were eliminated from the tournament.
However, due to today’s rain, today’s schedule has been effected. Byng coach Shawn Streater was going to make a determination at 10 this morning, but Byng High School athletic director Bruce Plunk said, “It’s doubtful we’re going to get to play. It’s too wet, and there’s no sun.”
Plunk said that the tenative schedule, if there are no games today, will be to play only the semifinal and championship contests on Saturday. The tentative Saturday schedule would have Latta and McLoud playing at 11 a.m., followed by Byng and Coalgate at 1:30 p.m. and the title game at 4 p.m.
Byng 3, Sulphur 0
Byng starting pitcher Blake Wheat (7-2) pitched a one-hitter with five strikeouts to get the complete-game victory.
The Pirates (12-8), winners of six straight, took a 2-0 first-inning lead on an RBI groundout by Mason Groves and a two-out, RBI double by Jake Wellington.
The game stayed that way until the sixth inning when an RBI groundout by Wellington scored Chaise Haley to make it 3-0.
Ryan Williams was 2-for-3 with a run scored, while Wellington was 1-for-3 with two runs scored for Byng.
Dillon Walker, who had the lone hit for the Bulldogs (13-14) when he led off the fifth inning with a single to break up Wheat’s no-hit bid, suffered the loss for Sulphur to drop to 5-3 on the season.
Latta 4, Prague 0
The Panthers (12-10), ranked fourth in Class 2A, broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning on a passed ball, which allowed Dylan Tinkler to score, to make it 1-0.
A one-out, RBI triple by Bryce Harris and an RBI groundout by Tinkler in the bottom of the fifth increased the Latta lead to 3-0.
A sixth-inning, two-out, RBI single by Dillon Anderson scored Reed Johnson for a 4-0 lead.
All the while, Latta starting pitcher Taylor Dunnigan (4-2) kept the Red Devils (13-11) in check as he threw a one-hit shutout as a two-out, second-inning double by Clint Simek was all the offense Prague could muster. Dunnigan struck out six batters.
For the game, Colton Engle was 2-for-3, Harris was 1-for-3 with a run scored and a run batted in and Anderson was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored for the Panthers.
In defeat, Simek was 1-for-3 for the Devils. Tyler Dean (3-2) suffered the loss for Prague, despite fanning six batters.
Coalgate 8, Seminole 5
With the game tied at 4-4 after four innings, the Wildcats (18-4), ranked seventh in Class 3A, took the lead for good in the fifth inning. A single by Jackson Ward produced what would be the game-winning RBI to put the ’Cats ahead 5-4.
J.W. Stanley hit a fly ball into right field, but it was misplayed by the Seminole right fielder which allowed Bradley Stowe to score to make it 6-4. A two-RBI single by Tanner Price gave Coalgate an 8-4 advantage after five innings.
The Chieftains (15-15) tried to rally in the sixth inning as, with two outs, an RBI grounder by Nolan Davenport was booted — which allowed Tim Rogers to score to cut the deficit to 8-5. But the Chieftains would not get any closer.
For Coalgate, Price was 2-for-4 with three runs batted in and a run scored, Colby Lackey was 1-for-1 with two walks and two runs scored and Ward was 1-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Rhett Acker (8-1) got the win for the ’Cats as he recorded eight strikeouts.
In defeat, Rogers was 2-for-2 with three runs scored and Andrew Robertson was 1-for-2 with two RBIs for the Chieftains. J.P. Morgan (1-2) suffered the loss for Seminole.