Enid News and Eagle
POTEAU — Northern Oklahoma College Enid used a 14-hit attack in an 8-3 win in Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference play at Carl Albert Thursday to earn a doubleheader split. The Jets dropped the first game, 4-3.
The Jets (32-18, 6-8) were paced in the nightcap by three hits apiece from Brandon Ruiz and Christian Faulkner who each also had 2 RBI. Reliever Matt Decker earned the victory, pitching 31⁄3 innings of scoreless relief. Justin Sheets started the game, but lasted only 22⁄3 innings, leaving after giving up three runs in the third inning as Carl Albert (32-17, 7-7) took a 3-1 lead after NOC Enid had jumped out to an early 1-0 advantage in the first inning on an RBI single by Logan Bradley.
The Jets answered Carl Albert’s three-run third with a five-run fourth inning to take a lead they would not reqlinquish.
Tyler Walker started the fourth-inning Jets rally with a leadoff double to left field. After Chase Knott singled, Blake Callahan was hit by a pitch from Vikings’ starter Mason Crenshaw to load the bases. NOC Enid made it 3-2 when J.R. Head’s single scored Walker. Ruiz then delivered a two-run double to left. Head scored the fourth run of the inning on a passed ball and Faulkner’s single to right sent Ruiz home for a 6-1 Jets lead.
The Jets added two more runs in the sixth inning after Ruiz led off with a single to right and then scored on Faulkner’s triple to right field. Faulkner came home on an RBI ground out from Bradley.
“Our 2-3 hitters (Ruiz and Faulkner) have been doing what need them to do,” said NOC Enid assistant coach Scott Mansfield. “They have been hitting well with people on base.”
It was all the scoring Decker would need after taking over for Sheets in the third inning. Decker allowed only one hit and one walk in earning the win.
“He (Decker) went out there and attacked the zone, getting them to pop out all day,” Mansfield said. “He got us a lot of outs and an opportunity to pad the lead. He’s been pretty consistent and has given us a solid lefty out of the bullpen.”
Christian LaFontan worked the seventh inning and struck out two in securing the Jets’ 8-3 win.
The Jets were unable to hold on to a 3-2 lead in the first game. After falling behind 2-0 after two innings, NOC Enid scored all three of its runs in the fifth inning, beginning with David Menger’s RBI single that scored Callaway who was on base after a single to right field. Logan Glasgow’s single scored Callaway. Glasgow would plate the Jets’ third run on J.R. Head’s sacrifice fly.
But Carl Albert added two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning on three hits, with Jacob Carter scoring the eventual game-winner on a Matt Johnson single. Carter had earlier reached base on a double.
Jets starter Garrett Kelly (5-3) took the loss.
The Vikings will visit David Allen Memorial Ballpark for a 1 p.m. Sunday doubleheader against NOC Enid. The Jets will go with Zac Postoak (3-4, 1.72) and Shawn Hunter (6-2, 2.79) on the mound.