By Dave Ruthenberg, Sports Editor
Enid News and Eagle
Never judge a book by its cover.
Or a baseball game by the first inning.
Friday’s second game of an Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader between Northern Oklahoma College Enid and No. 3-ranked Western Oklahoma being a good example.
The Jets’ Haden Johnson opened the game with a triple and scored on a single by Chase Knott. The Pioneers went down 1-2-3.
But the lead was short-lived.
Western answered with eight runs in the second, five in the third and two in the fourth for a 15-3 run-rule victory. It completed a sweep for the Pioneers, who won the first game 8-4.
The Pioneers (36-7 overall, 9-1 in conference), had nine home runs in the twinbill. That’s just one less than the Jets (10-33, 1-9) have hit all season.
“We gave up too many pitches that they could drive,’’ said NOC Enid assistant coach Scott Mansfield. “They did exactly what they’re supposed to do when they get a pitch like that.’’
The Jets had taken a 2-0 lead in the second inning of the second game when Dylan Walker walked and scored after a single by Dyce Applegate and walks to Knott and Korbin Polston.
“We came out swinging the second game,’’ Mansfield said. “We did what we were supposed to do ... jump on the first pitch and get some RBI opportunities.’’
However, the Jets left the bases loaded and never were in the game again.
“That takes the wind out of your sails,’’ Mansfield said. “We have to learn when things don’t go our way to get right back after it. We changed our approach a little bit after we got behind.’’
In the opener, Western’s Fraylin Paez homered and drove in three runs and the Pioneers’ Willie Allen homered and had two singles. Randy Joung was three-for-four with two doubles and two RBI.
Western starter Edward Cruz went the distance on the mound, allowing five hits, while walking two and striking out 10.
“He attacked the zone well,’’ Mansfield said. “He got the big outs when he needed to.’’
The Pioneers scored three runs in the first and two in the second to take a 5-0 lead and never looked back.
Knott had two hits and an RBI for the Jets. Korbin Polston and Sammy Terry had the other RBI.
Christian Lafontan, in relief of NOC Enid’s Zach Bradford, put up some good numbers in relief, striking out nine in five innings,while walking only one. He gave up five hits and four earned runs.
“Christian gave us an opportunity to stay in the game,’’ Mansfield said. “That’s what you expect out of a third-year guy. He went in and threw strikes and let them get themselves out.’’
Alnardo Rodriguez homered twice for the Pioneers in the nightcap and drove in three runs. He scored three times.
Sherman Lacrus, Casey Coyle, Joung and Clemente Parra also homered for the Pioneers.
The two teams play a 1 p.m. doubleheader Sunday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.
“We’re going to try to have a good practice Saturday and then have a good day at home,’’ Mansfield said.