By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Enid’s first five batters all reached base against Stillwater starter Will Fowler, and all five — plus two more — crossed the plate in the top of the first inning of the Gladys Winters Tournament opener Thursday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.
The Plainsmen added some insurance later, but they wouldn’t need it.
Zayne Herbal, Shaun Spring and Zeke Sarver each had 2 RBI, and Bates Enmeier shined in relief, keeping Stillwater at bay as Enid upset the No. 9 Pioneers, 11-6.
The Plainsmen’s first-inning started when Jake Walker and Christian Voitik drew walks from Fowler, who entered the game having allowed just one run on two hits in 82⁄3 innings. Spring tucked a double just within the right field line to score both, and Cole Floyd and Hunter Childs made it three straight hits against the Stillwater sophomore, who was chased before recording an out.
“It was just one of those days,” said Fowler, who fell to 2-1 with the loss. “Baseball’s a tough game. you can’t have a good outing every time, I guess.”
Sarver and Tanner Lingenfelter each added an RBI in the inning as Enid, which hasn’t given back a lead all season, led from start to finish.
Enmeier, who rushed off to an Enid junior varsity game at Northern Oklahoma College Enid’s Failing Field after his first varsity win, absorbed a four-run, error-assisted Stillwater rally after taking the mound in the bottom of the fourth, replacing Jerry Kearney after the Plainsman starter took a hard-hit line drive to the shin in the final at-bat of the third.
With Enid up 7-2, Enmeier struck out the first batter he faced, but three straight two-out errors pulled Stillwater to within 7-6 on four unearned runs in the frame.
“It was not pleasant in that dugout,” said Enid coach Bill Mayberry.
Enid, which was the away team after losing a pre-game coin flip, answered in the top of the fifth on Herbal’s RBI triple, and the senior pushed the lead back to 9-6 after scoring on a wild pitch in the next at-bat.
It was more padding than Enmeier needed.
The Plainsman junior retired eight straight Stillwater batters before Oklahoma State baseball commit Jon Kittell singled in the bottom of the seventh, too late to start a rally.
“I was a little surprised that I was going to be coming in right then because Jerry was doing good,” Enmeier said. “I just tried to do my job, because that’s all I can do, pretty much.”
“He did a great job,” Mayberry said. “He pitches the same every time you send him out there. He doesn’t get emotional. I like his demeanor, more than anything else I like his demeanor and the way he approaches pitching.”
Enmeier didn’t surrender an earned run in four innings, striking out three and walking none. Kearney gave up two earned runs on four hits in three innings, and isn’t expected to miss any additional time after leaving the game early.
In the nightcap, Enid fell 9-2 to Tulsa Union as the Redskins rebounded after being upset earlier in the evening by Stillwater, 5-2.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for Enid.
The Plainsmen (6-10) play Putnam City North at 6 p.m. tonight and will wrap up the tournament in its final game, 4 p.m. Saturday against Yukon.
The games can be heard on KCRC Radio (1390 AM).ԅ