The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

April 5, 2014

Hornets sting Plainsmen twice

ENID, Okla. — The Enid Plainsmen started Saturday on a high note, taking a 12-11 lead over Booker T. Washington in the eighth inning of a game that started Friday.

It was mostly downhill from there.

The Plainsmen lost 13-12 on a walk-off hit by Bennett White and fell 3-2 in Saturday’s regularly scheduled game, struggling to contain speedy Washington leadoff hitter Darian Abram and spoiling a complete game from pitcher Bates Enmeier.

 Washington was the home team in the first game that had been suspended for darkness after seven innings in Tulsa Friday.  Enid didn’t record an out in the bottom of the eighth as Washington loaded the bases against reliever Cole Floyd on a walk, a single and an error by first baseman Bobby Russell. The Hornets tied the game on a Seamus Ryan-Johnson single that fell just beyond Tanner Fore’s glove, and winning it on White’s hit back to the mound that deflected off Floyd.

“It was kind of a kick in the butt when they scored one more run than us in the bottom of the eighth (in the first game),” Enid senior Christian Voitik said. “That loss kind of contributed (to the slow start in the second game).”

A day after falling behind 8-0 in its first game, Enid was down again early on Saturday. Enmeier hit Abram in the arm to lead off the first. The senior advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by pitcher Bobby Cox and to third on an Enmeier balk. After another out, Abram broke for the plate as Enid catcher Kros Bay lobbed the ball back to Enmeier between pitches, beating Enmeier’s throw back home to score the game’s first run.

Abram applied pressure on the basepaths both times he reached, forcing a Braden Rogers error in the third as the Enid second baseman rushed a throw to get the speedy Hornet, who advanced to second on the error and was credited with an infield single. Jordan Brewer grounded to third in the next at-bat, and Hunter Childs initially looked Abram back to second, but again, Abram drew an error on a hurried throw, breaking for third and scoring when Russell’s throw to third sailed over Childs’ head.

“He scored two of their runs,” said Enmeier, who struck out four but fell to 3-2. “He’s a good player. I just tried to change up my looks with him. It helped a little bit, but he’s still really good.”

Ryan-Johnson, who took the win on the mound in the opening game, singled in Matt Bruns in the fourth to put Washington up 3-0.

Enid’s best offensive rally came in the next half-inning. After a Childs flyout, Floyd singled and Russell doubled to put runners at second and third for Voitik, who laced a base hit to right and scored both to pull Enid within a run.

Enmeier doubled to left off outfielder Devin Gummere’s glove to open the bottom of the fifth, but Cox retired Enid’s final nine batters to take the complete-game win, wasting a turnaround from Enmeier as the Enid starter sat down 11 of Washington’s last 15 at the plate.

“We didn’t score enough runs for Bates,” Voitik said. “We gotta get ourbats going early instead of waiting halfway through the game.”

The losses signaled a reversal of momentum for the Plainsmen (7-9, 3-5 in district 6A-3), who came off a sweep of Bixby to equal 2013’s district win total and pull back to .500 overall for the first time since a 1-1 start. Enid has largely made its 2014 turnaround behind improved defense, entering the weekend home-and-home averaging 2.3 errors per game compared to four per outing at this point last season. The Plainsmen reverted to 2013’s form against Washington, committing nine errors in two games — a glaring contrast to the Hornets’ flawless defense in Saturday’s second contest.

Enid’s schedule doesn’t get any easier after the weekend. The Plainsmen start a home-and-home with 6A-3 leader Broken Arrow at 5 p.m. Monday at David Allen. Broken Arrow improved to 16-4 overall and 7-1 in 6A-3 with a two-day sweep of Tulsa Union on Friday and Saturday.

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