Fortner for the win

Byng’s Brandon Fortner, shown here getting ready to catch a ball from earlier this season, got the pitching victory on the mound as the Pirates defeated the Washington Warriors 11-7 Friday afternoon at Stokes Field.

Photo by Richard R. Barron
Ada Evening News

BYNG — The Byng Pirates made it a perfect week Friday afternoon at Stokes Field. After run-ruling the Lexington Bulldogs 10-1 Monday afternoon, the Pirates defeated the Washington Warriors for the second time this season, posting an 11-7 victory after beating the Warriors last month in the McLoud Tournament.

The Pirates were hoping to make a 3-for-3 week Saturday afternoon with another home game with Hugo, but the Buffaloes canceled the game which will not likely be rescheduled.

Byng coach Shawn Streater has basically considered April as a “new season,” and a 2-0 week is just what the doctor ordered.

“I told the kids it’s like we’re 0-0,” he said. “We’re just trying to win out, and trying to get some positives going right now before the playoffs start.”

The Pirates (8-8) jumped out to a 1-0 lead on one of two Washington errors as Jake Scroggins scored from third base with the run.

Byng tripled the lead to 3-0 in the second inning on an RBI double by Scroggins and an RBI single by Chaise Haley.

After a scoreless third inning, the Pirates all but took seemingly control of the game in the fourth. A wild pitch allowed the first run and that was followed by an RBI single by Mason Groves and a two-RBI single by Ryan Williams that pushed the BHS advanage to 7-0.

But the Warriors (5-12), ranked 19th in Class 2A, would not go down without a fight. Washington scored four runs in the fifth inning on an RBI bloop single behind first base from Trent Braziel, an RBI single by Robert Rhynes and a two-run single by Colby Farrell to cut the deficit to 7-4.

The Pirates responded with a three-run fifth inning of their own — and on one swing, too. Haley hit his second home run of the season, a three-run blast, to give Byng a 10-4 lead after five.

“We’re starting to swing the bats pretty well,” Streater said.

Byng almost ended the game by run rule in the sixth inning. An RBI single by Clint Humphers scored Williams to make it 11-4 with two outs.

Brandon Fortner was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second, but Rhynes, now pitching in relief of starter Braziel, got the next batter to pop up to end the threat, and force the seventh inning.

The Warriors threatened in the seventh. A two-RBI single by Rhynes and an RBI grounder by Brady Honaker produced three runs to cut the Byng lead to 11-7 — as well as load the bases with only one out against Groves, now pitching in relief of starter Fortner.

But Groves got each of the next two batters to foul out near first base to Williams to end the game.

“They hit four balls that if you add (the distances) up don’t go 100 feet,” Streater said. “But that’s just baseball, and we have to play through it. We just can’t let it get to us. We found a way to win, but we probably should have held them down more than we did. But at this time of the year, a win is a win — and we’ll take it.”

For the game, Haley was 3-for-3 with four runs batted in and two runs scored, Scroggins was 3-for-3 with four runs scored and an RBI, Groves was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored as well as three strikeouts in two innings of relief pitching and Fortner, who got the win, struck out six batters in five innings of work.

The Pirates will return to action at 4:30 p.m. Monday against local rival Ada at Stokes Field.

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