Enid News and Eagle
TISHOMINGO, Okla. —
Northern Oklahoma College Enid had a frustrating day on the diamond against defending national champion Murray State Friday, losing two one-run games.
The Jets blew a 4-0 lead in the first game as the Aggies won the game on Blake Campo’s steal of home in the bottom of the ninth.
NOC Enid, down 6-0, scored five runs in the top of the seventh and had runners on first and third when Murray State finally got the last out to secure a 6-5 win.
The big news of the day, though, was Western Oklahoma having to forfeit six conference games because it used an ineligible player, including one to the Jets and two to Murray State.
The forfeits allowed Murray State (16-4) to clinch the league title. NOC Enid (11-9, 31-22) will be the No. 3 seed.
“It was tough,’’ said Jets head coach Raydon Leaton. “We had our hearts taken away after the first game. We had competed well. As far as we knew, we were playing for the conference champinship. If we had won both games, we could have recognized it as a conference championship, even if we wouldn’t have been the No. 1 seed.
“It took us a way to get going, but we were still only a hit away from tying it. You have to give them credit. They found a way to win. We battled well and we hope we can take that into next week (at regionals).’’
Campo, who walked off Jets relieved Cody Daylor in the ninth, reached third after a sacrifice and a ground out.
“We didn’t make a good pitch on the play,’’ Leaton said. of the steal. “If we had, we would still be playing.’’
The Jets had the bases loaded in the top of the ninth, but Jerame Littell struck out to end the threat.
Nick Yoning homered for NOC Enid, while Korbin Polston was 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. Starter Scotty Harvill went 71⁄3 innings, allowing four four hits and four earned runs, while striking out seven and walking one. NOC Enid scored a run in the second and three in the third, only to see the Aggies scored two in the fifth and sixth to tie the game.
The Jets had five of their nine hits in the nightcap in the seventh. Nolan Fanning doubled home pinch-runner Matt Foster. Tate Stokes, running for Fanning, scored on a single by Korey Floyd. Polston and Gifford followed with singles to make it 6-3. Littell doubled home two runs to make it, 6-5. Russ Colgan was hit by a pitch, but Yoning was retired for the final out.
Murray State starter Hunter Raley allowed only three hits in four innings, while striking out seven and not walking a batter. Austin Hannum took the loss for the Jets.
“We didn’t get it done,’’ Leaton said, “but we can come back and be ready for next week.’’
The regionals begin Thursday at Bartlesville.