By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Kremlin-Hillsdale’s football and boys basketball teams combined to win three games this season — three more than they did a year ago.
That improvement has carried over into baseball as the 8-6 Broncs won last week’s Cherokee Strip Tournament rallyiing back from a 7-0 deficit to defeat Cherokee 8-7 in the finals Saturday. The Broncs were consolation champions last season.
“That means a lot,’’ said second-year coach Terry Fettke. “They are willing to keep fighting and get things done. They are realizing as long as they stay the course they will keep improving on the field and in life.’’
The Broncs don’t have any seniors, but are beginning to get good leadership from their junior class.
Fettke has seen a change of attitude since the start of the season.
Earlier this season, the Broncs had an 8-4 lead on 2A power Crescent going into the last inning of the Crescent Tournament. The Tigers scored five runs to pull the game out.
“We were playing not to lose,’’ Fettke said.
Against Cherokee Saturday, the Broncs made five errors early which led to the 7-0 deficit going into the bottom of the fourth.
Reliever Elijah Voth shut out the Chiefs over the last three innings and the Broncs scored one run in the fourth, five in the fifth and two in the sixth for the win.
“Instead of folding up our tents, we dug down deep and won the game,’’ Fettke said. “Attitude is so important. The important thing is they are believing in themselves.’’
Connor McCullough was 2-for-3 with a triple. Cass Bittle had three RBI.
The Broncs did the little things right in the comeback.
“We had a lot of quality at bats,’’ Fettke said. “We went deep in the count and did a good job of putting the ball in play. Early on, we were hitting the ball right at them. We quit making errors.’’
Isiah Norwood pitched the first four innings of the finals. Fettke said his pitchers are doing a better job of controlling the count. Outfielders are beginning to hit the cut-off man. Infielders are making the routine plays.
“We’re focusing on what we can control,’’ Fettke said, “instead of worrying about things we can’t.’’
The Broncs didn’t show any post-tournament letdown Monday as they run-ruled Medford 15-1.
McCullough, Bittle, Voth and Lee Olmstead have been the leading hitters for the Broncs.
Bittle and Olmstead share catching duties. Trev Schoenhals, Chance Tucker, Voth, Brendon Stokes, McCullough, Olmstead and Bittle all have played the infield. Norwood, Hayden Bonine, Jacob Pekrul and Andre Lizar have patrolled the outfield.
“This is an enjoyable group,’’ said Fettke whose team plays at Pond Creek-Hunter in the first round of the Skeltur Tournament Thursday. “I’m hopeful of doing well the rest of the season.’’