The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

April 22, 2014

No. 4 Connors squeaks by Jets

ENID, Okla. — The weather was perfect for the Northern Oklahoma College Enid-Connors State baseball game at David Allen Memorial Ballpark Monday — 79 degrees and no wind.

The ballgame was even better.

Connors, ranked No. 4 in Division I, scored a run in the top of the 10th inning to win 6-5 in a game that typified the best of high-level junior college baseball.

“Those who love to play the game and like to compete, like to be part of these kind of games,’’ said Jets head coach Raydon Leaton. “It was just a well-played baseball game.’’

Christian Perez scored the winning run when he singled, went to second on a wild pitch, to third on a sacrifice and scored when Jets left fielder Haden Johnson dropped a fly ball by Eric Kirkpatrick.

“In hindsight, the dropped fly ball didn’t hurt us,’’ Leaton said. “The run was going to score anyway. It was too deep for him to throw him out. That run was going to score whether the ball was caught or not.’’

Cowboys reliever Hunter Harrison threw two shutout innings of relief to get the win.

“Those were two pretty good teams out there,’’ said Connors head coach Perry Keith. “We have been finding ways to score like that all year.’’

The Cowboys raised their record to 38-8. The Jets dropped to 25-17. They host Pratt (Kan.) in a 2 p.m. twinbill today at David Allen. Matt Kennewell took the loss for the Jets. He spent several minutes in the dugout in the 10th getting a bleeding blister repaired.

Connors took a 5-4 lead in the eighth on RBI singles by Perez and Kirkpatrick.

The Jets scored a run in the eighth to tie it at 5-5, which featured some memorable pitching matchups.

Dyce Applegate, with the bases loaded and a 3-2 count, fouled off four pitches before hitting a sacrifice fly to score Jerame Littell with the tying run. Littell was 3-for-5 with a double, two singles and scored twice.

One batter later, Korbin Polston, with the bases again loaded, fouled off four pitches at 3-2 before reliever Justin Farrell retired him on a ground out.

“We had our chances to win a couple of times and we didn’t get the hit when we needed it,’’ Leaton said. “They did at the end. It’s fun to be part of games like this. They make you better.’’

NOC Enid had taken a 4-2 lead with three runs in the fourth. Nik Gifford, who was 2-for-5, doubled and scored on a single by Nick Yoning. Littell doubled to put runners on second and third. Russ Colgan’s sac fly scored Yoning and Littell scored on a single by Dillon Harp.

Connors scored single runs in the second, third and fourth. Perez had three hits and scored twice for the Cowboys. Tyson Tackett scored twice and had two sacrifices. Connors had 13 hits on the night.

NOC Enid had opened the scoring with a run in the third as Applegate walked, stole second, went to third on an error and scored on a sac fly by Patrick O’Toole.

“We swung the bats better tonight and we had a better approach tonight that was way better than we did in the whole series against Carl Albert,’’ Leaton said. “We made a little jump tonight. At the same time, we play to win. We’re a prideful program that doesn’t like to lose.’’

CONNORS 6, NOC ENID 5

CONNORS  001  110      020  1    —    6    13    2

NOC            001  300     010  0    —    5    10    3

WP — Hunter Harrison, 2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 striekout. LP — Kennewell, 2 innings, 1 R, 2 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts. Connors: Perez, 3 singles, RBI, 2 runs scored; Tackett, 2 runs scored; Gonzalez, RBI single; Kirkpatrick, RBI; Poteete, 2 hits; Fourkiler, single, double, RBI run scored; Gonzalez, RBI. NOC: O’Toole, RBI; Gifford, 2-for-5, double, run scored; Yoning, RBI single, run scored; Littell, 3-for-5, 2 runs scored; Colgan, RBI; Harp, RBI single; Applegate, RBI

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