The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


March 18, 2012

Jets, Bears split 2


Northern Oklahoma College Enid felt all the emotions of baseball in a doubleheader split with 2011 World Series entrant Des Moines (Iowa) Area Community College Sunday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.

The Jets had the highest of highs in an 11-10 come-from-behind victory in the opener as Christian Faulkner drove in the winning run to cap a four-run seventh inning.

NOC Enid (20-7) fell back to earth in the second game as the Bears’ Paul Voelker threw a five-hitter and struck out six in DMACC’s 8-2 win that ended the Jets’ 12-game winning streak. The Bears scored three runs in the sixth and four in the seventh.

NOC Enid did end up taking two out of three games in the series.

“It was a good series,’’ said Jets coach Raydon Leaton. “We needed to play better in that last game. We let them hang around too long. We made some mental mistakes we didn’t need to make. A team like that is going to make you pay for it.’’

The Jets, in the opener, rallied back from a 10-3 deficit with four runs in the sixth and four in the seventh. Faulkner, with one out and a 1-2 count, singled to right to bring in Tanner Cruts with the winning run.

“It doesn’t get any better than that,’’ Faulkner said. “I was just thinking base hit anywhere. He gave me a fastball in, and I just turned on it.’’

Cruts was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Tyler Wilkens and J.R. Head drew bases-loaded walks before Faulkner’s heroics.

Brandon Ruiz, Cruts and Faulkner had RBI singles in the sixth. The Jets drew six walks and had two batters hit by pitches in the last two innings.

“We never gave up, and we worked as a team. That’s all you can do,’’ Faulkner said, “That’s (discipline) where all or our practice comes in. If not for us practicing so hard, we don’t do that.’’

“These guys don’t quit until the last out is made,’’ Leaton said.

Enid product Christian Lafontan pitched a scoreless seventh inning to get the win in relief. The Bears had scored a run in the first, four in the third, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in the sixth.

“I just needed to throw strikes and get the zero on the board,’’ Lafontan. said. “I knew if I could throw the zero, we can do the work after that.’’

Leaton said Lafontan earned the chance when he threw well in intrasquad game last week.

“He proved he could get people out, which we knew he could,’’ Leaton said.

Logan Bradley had a two-run homer in the fourth for the Jets. Dusty Harper, Logan Bradley and Cruts all scored three runs for the Jets.

Brad Lamberti went 3-for-4 with three RBI for the Bears. Blake Schmit was 3-for-5 and three runs scored, while Colin Keefe was 2-for-3 with two RBI and three runs scored. The Bears had 16 hits.

NOC Enid raced off to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the nightcap, but were shut down the rest of the way by Voelker, who overcame six walks. Ruiz had the Jets’ lone RBI. Logan Glasgow had two hits.

“You have to credit their kid for throwing well,’’ Leaton said. “We didn’t swing the bats like we needed to once we got that 2-0 lead.’’

Schmit had three hits and an RBI for the Bears. Edwin Medina and Cody Williams both had two RBI.

The Bears now are 11-10 overall.

The Jets will host Southeast Nebraska in a noon doubleheader Tuesday at David Allen before taking the rest of the week off for spring break.

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