By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
The wind was the best friend for NOC Enid’s Garrett Kelly in an 8-2 victory over Dodge City, Kan., Community College in the first game of a doubleheader at David Allen Memorial Ballpark Tuesday.
Justin Sheets matched Kelly’s performance in the nightcap in an 8-2 Jets win, striking out five and allowing five hits. He walked two, hit two batters and allowed a run.
Kelly allowed five hits while striking out six and walking three in going the distance as the wind blowing in from rightfield frustrated the Conquistador hitters.
Twelve of their 15 outs came on fly balls or popups.
“I just tried to get ahead,’’ Kelly said. “I pounded the zone with fastballs and let my defense play behind me.’’
With the wind blowing in, Kelly challenged the Dodge City hitters more.
“I think you kind of have to do that because most of your breaking stuff is not going to break,’’ he said. “You pound the zone with fastballs and let them hit the ball, rather than strike them out.’’
The Conquistadors scored an unearned run in the first on an error, a walk and a single off the left field wall by Cody Voelker.
Dodge City, though, didn’t get a runner past second until the seventh.
“I just had to get my head back in the game,’’ Kelly said. “I realized I was trying to do too much. I just tried to throw strikes.’’
The Jets backed Kelly with a 13-hit attack, scoring four runs in the first, two in the fifth and one in the second and fourth.
Brandon Ruiz was 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. J.R. Head was 3-for-4 with three doubles and two runs scored. Logan Bradley was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Tanner Cruts was 2-for-3 with a single and a double and an RBI. Blake Callaway was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
“It’s basically staying patient at the plate and getting a good pitch to hit,’’ Head said.
“A lot of times when the wind is blowing in, you worry about hitting a home run too much. A day like today, you do the little things right and wait to get a good pitch to hit.’’
Ruiz echoed the feeling.
“I had a good pitch selection today,’’ he said. “I hit the balls where I wanted to hit them. I got a good hard swing on the ball and I was able hit up the middle. You just try not to do too much.’’
The Jets, 10-6, blew the second game open with five runs in the third with RBI singles by Chris Faulkner and Davis Bradley serving as the big blows.
Head had a single and a double and scored twice. Logan Bradley had an RBI single in the first while Callaway had an RBI sacrifice fly in the second. Faulkner scored twice.
Enid’s Jaxson Johnson pitched the seventh, striking out three while allowing two hits and one run.
Former Ringwood and Mooreland product Connor Ross went 0 for 2 in the first game and 1 for 3 with a double and a run scored in the second game.
NOC Enid visits Barton County today.