The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 16, 2014

Jets soar into season perfect, take two wins on opening day

Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — NOC Enid baseball coach Raydon Leaton insisted the Jets’ preparations for the 2014 season weren’t disputed by the wintry weather the last two weeks because of the school’s indoor facility.

Russ Colgan and Austin Hilton proved him right in the Jets’ 6-4 season-opening win over Southeast Nebraska at David Allen Memorial Ballpark Saturday. The Jets won or lost the second game, 7-6.

Colgan was two-for-three with three RBI with a RBI double in the third and a two-RBI triple in the fourth which gave the Jets the lead for good.

Hilton retired the last seven batters he faced in allowing only one hit in three innings of relief. He got the save for Jets starter Jon Chidester. He struck out three and walked one.

“It sucked having to be indoors instead of being in the great outdoors where we were meant to play, but we did what we could, and it’s obviously paying off right now,’’ Hilton said.

Colgan said he was still able to get his swings in the indoor the past two weeks.

“We did get a lot of swings in there ... not as many as we could have gotten in the beautiful sun, but a lot of it was just working hard and doing sound fundamentally hitting,’’ he said.

Haden Johnson scored three runs for the Jets and reached base in all four of his at bats. He walked three times and singled in the sixth.

NOC Enid was out-hit 8-5 in the opener, but they made the most of their opportunities.

Colgan doubled in Johnson to make it 3-2 in the third. His triple to the center field was the big hit in a four-run fourth inning.

“A lot of it is just seeing some pitches and getting the ball that is going to be down the middle or around the plate,’’ Colgan said. “You just want to make a good swing on it.

“This is a whole different ballclub from last year. We have depth and everybody plays with intensity. It’s going to be a good year.’’

Dyce Applegate opened the inning with a single and scored after a walk to Johnson, Aaron McCandless being hit by a pitch and a wild pitch by reliever Colton Adams.

After Colgan tripled home Johnson and McCandless, he scored on a single by Jerame Littell.

Johnson had given the Jets a 1-0 lead in the first when he walked, was sacrificed to second by McCandless and scored after a wild pitch and a passed ball.

Chidester allowed seven hits over four innings, while striking out three and walking two. He allowed two runs in the second on a two-RBI double by Stan Palensky and a run in the third when Ty Moore scored from third when Chidester over threw second trying to nail base stealer Dylan Yost.

Hilton, with a 6-3 lead, allowed an unearned run in the fifth when Johnson singled in Moore, who reached on an error, stole second and went to third on a passed ball.

“I just tried to throw strikes and make themselves get out,’’ Hilton said. “I was getting the ground balls. The guys picked it up behind me.’’

Catcher Dillon Harp, making his college debut, threw out two runners.

“A win is a win,’’ Leaton said after the opener. “Russ is going to hit, that’s what he does. Austin came in and shut them down. We were a little tight and took too many pitches, but that’s just part of being Day 1.  We got the key hits when we needed them.’’

The series concludes with a 1 p.m. single game today at David Allen.

JETS 7, SE NEBRASKA 6

The Jets scored five runs in the third and one in the first and fourth to complete the sweep. The Storm scored three runs in the third and fourth, but were shut out the final three innings.

Jared Thompson drove in two runs for the Jets and had two hits.