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March 24, 2014

Ada rally cut short against Bethany

Pauls Valley —    The Ada Cougars had their rally hats on against Bethany Thursday evening during the first round of the Jeff Davis Memorial Tournament in Pauls Valley.

   One pitch by Bethany reliever Kyle Bottger put an end to the comeback.

   Ada trailed 5-4 with the bases loaded and just one out in the bottom of the sixth, but Bottger coaxed a come-backer from Scott Johnson that the Bethany hurler turned into a 1-2-3 double play.  The play ended the threat and helped the Broncos secure a 7-4 win.

   Ada fell to 2-2 overall, while Bethany — ranked No. 19 in Class 4A – improved to 7-1.

   “We competed but weren’t as sharp as we needed to be,” said Ada head coach Elliott Alberson. “I thought we left some plays out there offensively and defensively.”

   Bethany, which had outscored its past three opponents by a combined score of 40-3, was in a dogfight the entire way against the upset-minded Cougars.

   After Brandon Clay blasted a two-out, two-run homer on the top of the first inning to give Bethany a quick 2-0 lead, Ada answered in the bottom of the first.

   Dalton Wolf was hit by a pitch to start Ada’s half of the inning and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jake Boone. Johnson walked, and Ada loaded the bases when Clay — Bethany’s lefty starter — hit Micah Simmer.

   Walker Whitworth laced a two-RBI single to center field to tie the game, but the Cougars stranded the first two of 10 base runners in the contest.

   Bethany scored two error-aided runs in the top of the second and tacked on another run in the third via a two-out, RBI single by Jacob Doshier that pushed the Broncos ahead 5-2.

   The Cougars got two of the runs back in the fifth, thanks in part to Bethany’s lone error in the contest. Boone reached on the miscue to lead off the inning, and Johnson drew his second walk of the game. Simmer then pushed across Ada’s first run of the fifth with an RBI groundout before Whitworth produced a clutch RBI single to get the Cougars within 5-4.

   Ada got out of a jam in the top of the sixth when Wolf scooped up a ground ball off Brennan Ring's bat, stepped on second for one out and threw to first in time to complete an inning-ending double play.

   The Cougars then set the table for a rally in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases on singles by Tristan Doffin and Wolf and a walk to Boone before Bethany returned the double-play favor to escape unscathed.

   Clay hit his second two-run homer of the day in the top of the seventh for a pair of Bethany insurance runs, and Bottger worked around a hit batter and a walk to strike out the side in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.

   Whitworth and Doffin had two hits apiece to pace an Ada offense that was limited to five total hits.

   Clay and Millford each had two of seven Bethany hits.

   Ada returns home Monday, hosting Dickson at 4:30 p.m. before heading to the Ardmore Tournament Thursday.

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