ENID, Okla. —
That was quick.
Fifth-ranked Pioneer played all of 12 innings on its way to three wins and a seventh consecutive district title, the shortest of them a 55-minute, 13-0 run-rule win over Frontier in four innings on Friday to secure the championship and passage into Class A’s regional round.
The Mustangs (33-4) never were challenged in three district games, beating Garber and Frontier on Thursday before eliminating Frontier (8-15) on Friday, the trio of wins coming by a combined 41-1 margin.
“Sometimes you have to compete against yourself, compete against the game,” said Pioneer head coach David Riesen. “We did a good job of that. I’m pleased with this weekend.”
Junior righthander Skyler Bartel (7-1) faced three over the minimum 12 batters, striking out seven in the four-inning complete game win. Bartel loaded the bases in the first on a Sheldon Kihega single — Frontier’s lone hit — a walk, and a hit batter, but struck out Tristan Harris and forced Austin Sawyer into a groundout to end the visiting team’s only threat. Bartel didn’t allow another baserunner after the first, retiring Frontier’s final 11 batters, striking out the side in the decisive top of the fourth.
“When you get way ahead on a team, you really just want to put it on cruise control,” Bartel said. “Just gotta stick with it, stay focused on the game.”
The Mustangs’ offense opened a big lead in the second inning for the third straight game on Friday, scoring seven runs on four hits and three Frontier errors in the frame to bump their lead to 10-0.
Riesen expects to learn the Mustangs’ regional assignment from the Oklahoma Secondary School Activites Association on Monday. Pioneer is a possible, if not likely, candidate to host a regional, but Riesen could only guess until assignments were made public.
“In 15 years, I’ve never guessed one right,” Riesen said.
The Mustangs hosted a regional in 2013, but lost to Cashion in the final.
ENID, Okla. —
That was quick.
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