The Guthrie Junior High baseball team wrapped up the Guthrie Zorian Wooden Bat Tournament on Sunday evening, as they played in the championship game against Deer Creek Junior High. The BlueJays would be the visiting team in this one and would bat around in the top of the first inning to put the pressure on the Antlers from the opening pitch.
Brayden Codding and Jarrott Gates would each single in their first at bat to put runners on first and second base for Tyler Kisner. Kisner would then single to left field, driving in Codding for the games first score. The first six batters of the inning would reach base and score in the top of the first. Eight of the first nine batters of the first inning would reach base safely. By the time the inning was over, the BlueJays had already done their damage and held a 6-0 lead.
“Any time you can get four hits in a row and get off to the start we did, is a great deal,” Head Coach Jon Chappell said. “Their pitcher couldn’t find the strike zone there for a while and we were able to get off to a good start.”
Deer Creek would respond in the bottom half of the second inning by finally getting on the board. They would open up the inning with a walk and a single to put runners on first and second. A base clearing double would give the Antlers two runs in the inning to trim the gap to just four runs.
The score would remain at 6-2 until the BlueJays added another run in the top of the third inning. With the Tyler Clark, Zac Payne and Brayden Codding each reaching base to load the bases, Kisner would collect a walk, bringing in Clark from third base to extend the BlueJays lead to five runs.
In the bottom of the third, the Antlers would find their bats and would start to gain momentum as they would bring four across in the inning off of two wild pitches and a two run RBI double to left. Going into the top of the fourth, the BlueJays lead was now slimmed to just one run at 7 to 6. The Antlers momentum would spill over into the fourth inning, as they would shut down the BlueJays and would get two more across in the bottom of the inning to finally take a one run lead with only three innings remaining.
Codding would get things going for Guthrie in the fifth, hitting a single to left-center with one out. The next four BlueJay batters would reach base by collecting four balls to get the free pass to first base. The walks would result in two runners scoring on the free passes. The BlueJays would be unable to take advantage of having the bases loaded as they would record a strike out and a runner getting picked off a third would end the inning early for Guthrie. Guthrie had recaptured the lead, 9 to 8.
After both teams went three up-three down, Deer Creek would get two more across in the bottom of the sixth inning and put the pressure on Guthrie to score in the top of the seventh inning or the Antlers would become champions.
Guthrie would do just that with Gates, Kisner and Davis all reaching base for the BlueJays to give them bases loaded with one out in the inning. Dalton Greybeal would step up to the plate and deliver with a base-clearing single to right field. Greybeal would be thrown out at second base for trying to force a double out of the hit. But it didn’t matter; the BlueJays were now in control with a two run lead going into the bottom of the last inning, 12-10.
Kisner again take the mound for the final inning and would look to get the final three outs of the ball game. After a fly out to right field, two fielding errors allowed the Antlers to get runners on first and second. Kisner would strike out the next batter, giving the BlueJays two outs. Kisner would then force the next batter to ground out to second base giving Guthrie the 12-10 victory. Chappell was proud of the group and their ability to win the tournament and hope it will boost their confidence.
“Any time you are able to win a tournament it is good for morale,” Chappell said. “It improves work ethic--I hope it improves their work ethic, I hope they don’t get complacent-- I was very proud of them.”
The Junior High team will return back to action on Tuesday, as the seventh graders will play Putnam City West at Squires at 6 p.m. The eight graders will be traveling to Stillwater, Oklahoma to take on Stillwater at 6 p.m.