EDMOND — Latta made key mistakes against a Class 6A opponent for the third straight game, but the news wasn’t all bad for the Panthers coming out of Friday’s 6-3 loss to Moore at the Edmond Wood Bat Tournament.
“We played a lot better than we were the day before,” Latta coach Eddie Collins said after seeing his club — a 10-0 loser to Norman Thursday — drop to 10-7 on the season heading into Saturday’s tournament finale against Choctaw.
Moore (No. 18 in Class 6A) bunched four of its 10 hits in the game to score four times in a first inning that also featured two of Latta’s three errors and a couple of other mental mistakes. After taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the inning on an RBI single by Colton Engel, the Panthers (No. 4 in Class 2A) also botched a rundown play for the second game in a row to help the Lions keep the inning alive.
Senior righthander Wacey Henderson (3-1) was the victim of the nightmare first inning but settled down to allow just two runs and six hits the rest of the way in pitching his first complete game of the season. He struck out four and walked just one.
“We made two gaffes in the first inning that were just mental mistakes that could have gotten us out of the inning and kept two runs from scoring,” Collins said. “The little bitty defensive lapses came back to haunt us, but Wacey threw it well the last five innings.
“(The Lions) are going to hit the ball and put it in play, but if we make a couple of plays, we give ourselves a chance to win the game,” he added. “When we get chances to get outs, we have to get them — it’s as simple as that.”
Latta equalled Moore’s hit total of 10, and four of the Panthers’ hits went for extra bases. Engel had a pair of doubles and finished 3-for-4, and Dylan Tinkler and Bryce Harris also doubled in the loss. Tyler Reeves had three hits, including an RBI single in the third inning to make it 5-2, and Henderson was 2-for-3 with a run scored from his leadoff spot in the lineup.