The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

July 10, 2013

First place on the line tonight for Majors

By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Right-hander Jerry Kearney will be on the mound tonight when the Enid Majors (32-14) face Oklahoma City Sandlot with the undisputed lead of the Les Beckham League on the line.

Both teams are 8-1 in league play after Sandlot run-ruled the Enid Minors and the Majors swept the Southwest Shockers Monday.

Kearney is coming off a 10-strikeout performance in a 6-2 win over Fort Smith, Ark., Kerwin Motors at the Glen Winget Invitational Saturday.

“Over the last three weeks, he’s been in great command,’’ said Majors coach Chris Jensen about Kearney. “He’s been throwing three pitches (change, curve and fastball) for strikes and his walks have been minimal.’’

The Sandlot beat the Majors 9-2 at the Midwest City Outlaws Memorial Day Tournament May 27 behind 10 strikeouts from Jacob Boggess of Seminole State College. The Sandlot has drawn players from all over the Metro area.

“We still have two or three hurdles to get where we want to be,” said Jensen.

The Majors still have four league games left. They will resume a suspended game (4-4 after 11 innings) with the Cleveland County Boomers at 6 p.m. Friday before the teams play a regularly-scheduled game at 7.

Enid plays league rival OKC Drillers in a 6 p.m. doubleheader Saturday at David Allen.

“We would like to win the league,’’ Jensen said, “but our ultimate goal is to win a state championship. We want to stay focused on the ultimate goal. They (Sandlot) have excellent pitchers and their lineup from 1-9 can hit. They are always prepared to play.’’

Catchers Claytin Beaver and Christian Voitik will not be available tonight. Jensen said he wasn’t sure who would catch.

Tanner Black, who was filling in Tuesday, left during the first game of a doubleheader with the Woodward Travelers after having a foul ball go off a kneecap. Jensen said he should be fine.

Jensen said he plans to have his pitchers on a pitch count.

“Overall, our pitching has really been coming around,’’ Jensen said.

Garron Nixon and Brady Kokojan threw complete games against the Southwest Shockers Monday. Gamez went 62⁄3 innings in beating the Woodward Travelers 7-4 in Tuesday’s second game of a doubleheader.

The Majors-Outlaws games will match two teams that have won national championships over the last 10 years.

“There’s been a lot of talent on those two teams,’’ Jensen said. “It’s pretty remarkable about what we have accomplished. It shows just how good baseball is in Oklahoma.’’

The Majors have added Alva’s Ty Hooper to the roster. Hooper pitched an inning against the Travelers Tuesday and will be used in a utility role.

“We were able to get him under the 22-player limit,’’ Jensen said. “It’s a really good pick-up for us.’’

The Connie Mack state tournament opens July 18 at David Allen.