After ending the week Saturday afternoon with an 11-2 run-rule loss to the Ardmore Tigers at Ardmore’s Valero Park, the Ada Cougars baseball team wanted to open its four-game homestand this week with a victory. They did so, and in a big way, too.
Thanks to Mark Byers hitting the Cougars’ first home run of the season, Ada was able to run rule the Holdenville Wolverines 11-0 in five innings on a cloudy Monday afternoon at Cougar Field.
“It was good to come out, and do what we were supposed to do,” Ada coach Ronny Johns said.
Ada (7-11) jumped on Holdenville starting pitcher Taylor Hignite for five runs in the opening inning. After back-to-back walks to Dillon Bolin and Kobi Cupps, Byers hit a one-out, three-run home run over the left-center field fence for a 3-0 lead.
After a Tyler Carter single, a walk to Caleb Balch and a Hignite wild pitch, Ryan Kinder followed with a two-RBI single to make it 5-0 after an inning.
The Cougars batted four times, and each time they saw a different pitcher for Holdenville. After Hignite (1-5) started, they saw Eric George in the second inning, Collin Menders in the third and Rylan Gingry in the fourth.
Unfortunately for the Wolverines (6-8), the Cougars had a little more offensive success against George than Hignite. In the second inning, Ada scored six runs, which were produced by an RBI triple by Cale Russell, a two-RBI double by Balch, a two-RBI single by Kinder and a Holdenville error. At the end of the second inning, the Cougars had an 11-0 lead.
“It was good to come out, and swing the bats a little bit,” Johns said about his team’s seven-hit contest. “We’ve actually been swinging the bat better, but we didn’t do that against Ardmore on Saturday. I feel like we are making strides in that area (hitting the ball). We’ve been swinging better than what we had been.”
All the while, Ada starting pitcher Alex Winton (2-2) kept the Wolverines in check. He struck out five batters in five innings, allowed no runs on two hits. In fact, there was only one inning in which a Holdenville baserunner got to third base. In the fourth inning, Josia Nyberg led off with a double to left-center field. He was moved to third base on a groundout by Hignite with one out. However, Winton struck out Dylan Moore and got Bryce Pearce to groundout to second base to end the threat. All total, only six Wolverine batters got on base against the Ada starter — and two of them were caught stealing by Byers from his catcher’s position.
“(Winton) kind of worked out of a jam there,” Johns said about his pitcher’s good recovery after Nyberg’s lead-off double in the fourth inning. “He was able to work out of that without giving up any runs. Alex had a good outing.”
For the game, Kinder was 2-for-2 with four runs batted in and a run scored, Russell was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored and Byers was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer and a run scored for Ada.
In defeat, George and Nyberg were each 1-for-2 for Holdenville.
The Cougars were slated to return to action this afternoon as the homestand was to continue with a 4:30 p.m. contest against the Little Axe Indians. That will be followed by the return match-up with archrival McAlester at 4:30 p.m. Thursday and a noon Saturday home game with Tecumseh.
“We wanted to get off to a good start (this week),” Johns said. “We need to play well. It seems like we’ll play well for a few games, and then take a step back (like Saturday’s Ardmore loss). We’ve got to make some strides to where we’re getting better all the time, and not take a step back. We’re hoping we can do that this week.”
By the Box:
At Cougar Field
Ada 11, Holdenville 0
H’VILLE 000 00 — 0 2 2
ADA 560 0x — 11 7 2
Taylor Hignite, Eric George (2), Collin Menders (3), Rylan Gingry (4) and Sabo West. Alex Winton and Mark Byers. WP-Winton (2-2). LP-Hignite (1-5). HR-Byers (1) (A). 2B-Josia Nyberg (H); Caleb Balch (A). 3B-Cale Russell (A). HL-George 1-2, Nyberg 1-2 (H). Ryan Kinder 4-4, 4 RBIs, RS; Russell 2-3, RBI, RS; Byers 1-3, RBI, RS (A).