No cracking Wheat

Byng Pirates senior pitcher Blake Wheat, facing Ada for the first time in his varsity career, defeated the Cougars 4-3 Monday afternoon at Stokes Field as he struck out six batters in the complete-game victory.

Photo by Richard R. Barron
Ada Evening News

BYNG — One streak kept going for one local baseball squad, while offensive struggles continued for another team Monday afternoon at Stokes Field.

The host Byng Pirates won their third straight game as they defeated their local rivals, the Ada Cougars — losers of three of their last four games — by a score of 4-3.

The Pirates (9-8), who trailed 2-0 in the third inning after stranding the bases loaded in the first inning and left runners at second and third in the second inning, finally came through in the third inning.

Two straight RBI singles by Clint Humphers and Brandon Fortner, an Ada error and an RBI single by Jake Scroggins gave Byng a 4-2 lead.

“We battleded,” Byng coach Shawn Streater said. “We stranded runners on base all day, and we just couldn’t get the hits to bring them in. But in that one inning, we got the hits, and were able to bring them in. We finally got some timely hits. We got it done — thank God.”

It was fortunate for the Pirates that the pitching of senior Blake Wheat (6-2 with the win) was stellar. He struck out six batters in a complete-game, seven-inning performance as he scattered five hits and gave up only three runs. Because with the Cougars (8-14), ranked 15th in Class 5A, struggling scoring runs, it helped the Byng cause since the Pirates stranded 12 runners on base for the game — and leaving at least a runner on base in each of the six innings in which they batted.

“(Wheat) did well,” Streater said. “He’s a senior, and he really wanted to pitch against Ada. I don’t think he had ever faced them in his career. He really wanted to pitch. I’m happy for him.”

Ada took the early lead as Tyler Carter’s solo home run over the left-field fence, his first of the year and just the second homer for the Cougars, gave the visitors a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

The Cougars doubled the lead to 2-0 in the third inning as a two-out, RBI single by Mark Byers scored Drew Elliott.

But over the other five innings in which Ada batted, the Cougars had only a lead-off double by Caleb Balch, which set up the final run for the Cougars as Alex Winton’s RBI groundout produced the third run. In fact, Ada had zero hits in innings one, four, five and six.

“(Wheat) did a good job,” Ada coach Ronny Johns said. “He kept us off balance. We could never bunch a lot of things together.”

But the pitching duo of Cale Russell (1-5 with the loss) and Winton combined to strikeout six batters (four for Russell in four innings of work) as Byng stranded a dozen runners on base.

“I thought Cale threw well,” Johns said. “They snuck some balls in, and were able to get some guys on. They were able to put the ball in play, and they put one (big inning) through when they needed to.”

For the game, Scroggins was 3-for-4 with a run batted in, Ryan Williams was 3-for-3 with a run scored and Jake Wellington was 2-for-4 with a run scored for Byng.

In defeat, Balch was 2-for-3, Byers was 1-for-3 with an RBI and Carter was 1-for-1 with a run scored and an RBI on his homer for Ada.

The Pirates were slated to travel today to meet the Davis Wolves, but instead the Wolves will visit Stokes Field for a 4:30 p.m. contest.

“I told the guys instead of making it one long season to break it up,” Streater said. “In the first half, we were around .500. In this half, we’re 3-0. The next half, and the most important half, will be the playoffs. We’re trying to run out a stretch of games here in the last couple of weeks where we play some good baseball, and get peaking going into the playoffs.”

The Cougars will play in the Bill Tipton VI Wednesday through Friday at Shawnee’s Ed Skelton Field. The Cougars will open with a 1:30 p.m. game against the host Wolves, followed by a 4 p.m. contest against the Yukon Millers (ranked fifth in Class 6A). That will be followed by a 11 a.m. game against Class 5A’s 11th-ranked Lawton MacArthur Highlanders on Thursday and a 4 p.m. Friday game against the Oklahoma City Broncos — all of which will determine who and when Ada will play on Saturday at Carl Albert High School on the final day of the tournament.

“It’s an opportunity to get to see some good teams, and get us ready for the playoffs,” Johns said. “It’s always a good tournament. It’s going to have a playoff-like atmosphere. So, it will be good for us.”

Moss pitcher one-hits Byng girls

BYNG — In a battle of Lady Pirates Monday afternoon at Bobby Johns Field, it was the visitors from Hughes County which struck gold, sort to speak.

Moss pitcher Kayce Long threw a one-hit shutout, and toyed with not only a no-hitter but a perfect game, as she was the winning pitcher for her team’s 9-0, five-inning, run-rule victory over the Byng Lady Pirates.

Long (16-3) was perfect for 3.2 innings until back-to-back, two-out walks to Ashley Scott and Presli Manuel spoiled perfection. But she got the next batter to fly out to rover to end the threat.

Long still had her no-hitter in tact until two outs in the fifth inning when Morgan Huff got a single to produce the only hit for Byng (7-15). All total, three baserunners were all the home team could get against the Moss pitcher.

“We just didn’t hit the ball very well,” Byng coach Randi Colbert said. “It was pretty ugly actually. We just didn’t play well.”

Meanwhile, Moss (18-4), ranked second in Class A, got all the run support Long would need in the opening inning. A two-run, inside-the-park home run by Kyra Underwood (her fifth homer of the season) and an RBI single by Caitlyn Ramirez gave the visitors a 3-0 lead.

A Byng error and an RBI single by Long to aid her own cause in the second inning made it 5-0.

In the fourth inning, another Byng error and a two-run triple by Long increased the Moss advantage to 8-0 after four innings.

Ramirez put the exclamation point on the Moss victory as she homered, her third round-tripper of the season, to extend the lead to 9-0.

Cheyenne Counts suffered the loss for Byng, which was slated to play at 4 this afternoon in Tecumseh against the Lady Savages (ranked 10th in Class 6A).

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