The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 25, 2014

Jets gain split


Enid News and Eagle

PRATT, Kan. —  Northern Oklahoma College Enid, after a disappointing 7-3 loss in the first game, scored three runs in the top of the seventh to gain a split with Pratt Community College 5-2 in a junior college baseball doubleheader Tuesday.

Right-hander Austin Hilton, pitching for the first time in nine days, went the distance in the nightcap, allowing only five hits, while striking out eight and walking two. Both of the Beavers’ runs were unearned.

Nolan Fanning homered for the Jets, now 10-8. Haden Johnson was 3-for-4, including a RBI double which broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh.

“We played really well,’’ said Jets head coach Raydon Leaton. “In Game 1, we played like it was Day 1, but we shook off the rust, addressed our problems, corrected them and found a way to get a split.’’

Hilton was supposed to pitch only four innings, but had a low enough pitch count that Leaton chose to let him go the distance. He had 19 first-pitch strikes and had almost a 2-1 strike-ball ratio (55-28).

Hilton blanked Pratt the last four innings after the Tigers scored twice in the third on the strength of doubles by Scott Alvarez and Skylar Dean and an error.

“Austin threw really well,’’ Leaton said.

Pinch-hitter Korey Floyd opened the Jets seventh with a double and came home on Johnson’s double. Russ Colgan singled in Johnson.

Patrick O’Toole, running for Colgan, scored after a single by Korbin Polston, a walk to Nik Gifford and Nick Yoning reaching on an error.

Johnson had tied the game in the fifth when he singled and scored on an error by center B.J. Dean. Fanning’s solo homer gave the Jets a 1-0 lead.

Pratt, in the first game, broke out with three runs in the third and two in the fourth and fifth.

The Jets opened up a 1-0 lead when Dillon Harp doubled home Floyd, who had singled. The Jets added two runs in the fifth on a walk to Jared Thompson, a single by Russ Colgan, an error, an RBI single by Polston and a Jerame Littell ground out to score Colgan.

“We didn’t do a lot of smart things in Game 1,’’ Leaton said. “Again, we addressed it and played a lot better in Game 2.’’

Jon Chidester took the loss in the first game, allowing five hits and five runs — only one earned — over four innings. He struck out four and walked two.

Scott Alvarez and Skylar Dean were both two-for-four for Pratt.

The Jets visit Connors State, ranked No. 1 in the most recent NJCAA Division I baseball poll, on Thursday.