SHAWNEE — The Ada Cougars hit a lot of balls hard Wednesday against Weatherford in a pool play game of the Carl Albert Tournament played at Shawnee’s Ed Skelton Field.
But one couldn’t tell it by looking at the scoreboard after the contest which read: Weatherford 10, Ada 2.
And while most of Ada’s hardest hit balls wound up being flyouts to right field, the Eagles had no such problems at the plate on this day. Weatherford (No. 10 in Class 4A) compiled 11 hits and used a big five-run outburst in the bottom of the second to ease to the victory.
“They pounded the baseball. We hit a lot of balls hard, just right at them. They’re a good ballclub and they can hit. But we hit a lot of balls hard and didn’t get much to show for it. They just didn’t fall in for us today and they did for (Weatherford). But that’s baseball,” Ada head coach Ronny Johns said.
The Eagles scored in their first at-bat when Gordon Perry led off with a single and raced home on a one-out double by Logan Schamburg.
Ada got the run back when Chase Sanders — who hit a dramatic grand slam in the bottom of the seventh to beat rival McAlester on Tuesday — blasted a solo home run that sped over the wall in right-center to lead off the second inning and knot the game at 1-1.
Carson Linstead started Weatherford’s key volley in the second with a one-out single and Clark Arganbright followed with a walk.
Nine-hole hitter Justin Sides drove in the first run of the inning with an RBI hit and Perry followed hitting a bouncer to shortstop Chad Palmer who leaped high in the air to snag the ball and get the force out at second base.
Kory Selmon followed with an RBI infield single and Schamburg gave Weatherford a nice cushion with his three-run homer over the right field wall.
Ada got one run back in the top off the third when Alex Leach went all the way to second on an error, advanced to third on a base hit to center by Philip Tweedy and scored on a long fly ball to right field that Weatherford’s Perry had to hustle to track down and keep from going over his head for the second out of the inning.
Ada (No. 9 in Class 5A) wouldn’t get another hit in the game, but did get runners at first and second with one out in the top of the fifth. But Weatherford got out of the jam when lefty Kevin Hoffman survived a line drive to right by Clint Bowker and a deep fly ball to left by Sanders.
Weatherford scored four more runs in the fifth to end the contest via the run-rule.
The Eagles got a quick run when Hoffman and Koby Sutton hit back-to-back doubles to start the inning. Two Ada errors led to two more WHS runs. The second of the two miscues was more bad luck than bad play. Arganbright hit a weak ground ball to Bowker, who was pitching in relief. Bowker threw toward first in plenty of time to get the out, but Quaid Johns lost the ball in the sun and it rolled all the way into the right field corner, allowing Arganbright to get to third base. Sides then hit a game-ending RBI single.
Ada made a couple of nice defensive plays in the contest. In the bottom of the third, Josh Balch snagged a bouncer just behind the third base bag and fired to first in time to retire Weatherford DH Jase Meget. In the fourth — with a runner at first — Bowker (at second base) made a nifty catch of a hard line drive off the bat of Siess and threw to first to complete the easy double play.
Hoffman, another one of the many left-handed pitchers Ada has faced this year, earned the mound win while Sanders — who struck out six in four innings — was tagged with the loss.
Ada will actually play a pair of tournament games at Carl Albert today, meeting Lawton MacArthur at 1:30 p.m. before facing Clinton at 4 p.m.
The Cougars (14-7) will then complete pool play with a game versus Enid Friday at 4 p.m. at Del City High School.