By Ryan Costello, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
The Enid Majors didn’t pile up hits in their opening game of the 2013 Connie Mack State Tournament on Thursday.
Nor did they need many.
Enid totaled four hits, but starter Jesus Gamez pitched a complete game and retired the final 14 batters he faced as the Majors capitalized on four Cleveland County Boomer errors to pull away, 6-2 in the nightcap of the tournament’s opening day at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.
“It’s pretty remarkable,” said Majors coach Chris Jensen. “I think (Gamez) threw 104-105 pitches. At times, his curveball wasn’t where he wanted it to be, but he found that curveball, and he’s topped out at 93, but tonight, I don’t think he even touched 90, he just threw.”
The Majors (39-15) never trailed, scoring three runs in the top of the second to take a lead they never lost.
Garron Nixon opened the frame with a walk, and Junior Obeso advanced him to second on a sacrifice bunt, reaching first himself on an error by Cleveland County third baseman Billy Engel.
Cody Daylor scored Nixon from third on an RBI groundout, reaching on another error. Cole Floyd moved Daylor and Obeso to second and third with another sacrifice, and ninth-place hitter Brad Kinsey doubled off the right field wall to clear the bases and put Enid up 3-0.
An Obeso RBI groundout in the next frame pushed Enid’s lead to 4-0.
Cleveland County (5-21) answered with two runs in a two-error bottom of the third and threatened more with the bases loaded and one out, but Gamez (7-1) finished the frame with a strikeout and a groundout and didn’t allow another baserunner over the final four innings.
“I just tried to relax, just take deep breaths,” said Gamez, who struck out 10, including the game’s final two batters, and allowed three hits. “I got ahead in the count and I just tried to blow it by them. I got really relaxed going into the fourth and just settled down.”
Enid manufactured the majority of its six runs, completing three sacrifice bunts — two of them from Floyd — that each led to runs scoring, and the Majors scored following all but one of Cleveland County’s four errors.
“The small game is gonna be crucial to get where we want to be in this tournament,” Jensen said.
Enid added single insurance runs in the sixth and seventh on sacrifice flies from Weston Ward and Brandon Rakestraw, the latter following a leadoff triple by Brady Kokojan.
Enid earned a second-round bye with the win, and plays the winner of the game between the Southwest Shockers and top-seeded Oklahoma City Sandlot Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Cleveland County plays the Oklahoma City Drillers today at 2:30 p.m.
ENID MAJORS 6, CC BOOMERS 2
MAJORS 031 001 1 - 6 4 2
BOOMERS 002 000 0 - 2 3 4
WP: Gamez (7-1), LP: Olds
Enid: Kokojan 2-4, 3B, R; Rakestraw 1-3, RBI, SB, R; Kinsey 1-3, 2B RBI
Boomers: Clovis 1-3, RBI
Woodward Minors 3, Southmoore 1
Woodward Majors 1, Enid Minors 0
SW Shockers 8, OKC Drillers 0
Enid Majors 6, CC Boomers 2
Noon: Southmoore vs. Enid Minors
2:30: OKC Drillers vs. CC Boomers
5: Woodward Majors vs. Shockers
7:30: Sandlot vs. Woodward Minors