By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Timberlake’s Stetson Buller had a positive experience against Cloud (Kan.) County in his pitching debut for the Northern Oklahoma College Enid Jets Sunday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.
The same can’t be said for his teammates.
Buller, in 32⁄3 innings of relief, allowed only one hit while striking out four and walking three in a 6-5 Jets’ loss in the opener.
The T-Birds, in the second game, took advantage of five Jets errors, 10 walks, three hit batsmen and four wild pitches to sweep the twinbill 10-2.
“They made plays when they had to and we didn’t,’’ said a disappointed Jets coach Raydon Leaton. “They outplayed us in both games.
“They had four hits and won 10-2, that tells the story of how the game went on the mound for us. The mistakes we made were correctable. We’ll get back to work Monday.’’
Buller walked the first man he faced, but came back to strike out two of the next three batters. He struck out two in the fifth, before allowing his only run in the sixth on the strength of a walk, an error and two sacrifices.
“I did all right,’’ Buller said. “I could have done a lot of things better. I have a lot of things I need to work on, but it’s early in the season. Hopefully, I can work on those.’’
He said it “maybe’’ was a confidence builder, but said he still had things he needed to straighten out.
“I was a little nervous,’’ Buller said. “I had to overcome the nervousness after I walked the first batter. After that, I let the instincts work in. I had great coverage behind me. I got some good ground balls, and they made some excellent plays behind me.’’
Pitching coach Scott Mansfield said Buller “did what he was supposed to do.’’
“He knows how to compete, and that’s half the battle for a pitcher,’’ Mansfield said.
Freshman Kent Callison was the only real positive of the second game. He allowed only two hits over the last three innings and did not walk a batter. He threw 23 strikes out of his 31 pitches. That’s a contrast from the 59 strikes out of 142 pitches the other Jets pitchers made.
“We’re still searching for roles,’’ Leaton said. “Guys who get opporutunities to perform, and if they perform well, will get more opportunities. Once we get through February, we’ll know who are those guys and who those guys aren’t.’’
The Jets, down 5-2, sent the game into extra innings with three runs in the bottom of the seventh. J.T. Turner doubled, and an out later, Chase Knott was hit by a pitch.
Turner scored when Randy Dove reached on an error and Korbin Polston delivered a two-out double to score Knott and Dove. Dillon Walker struck out to end the threat.
Cloud County’s Jordan Brown doubled with one out and scored after a fly out by Chase Reibenspies and a wild pitch by losing pitcher Dillon Freie.
The T-Birds only had two RBI in the game with another run coming in on a wild pitch and two more on a two-out error. Brown had a sac fly for an RBI, and an RBI double by Reibenspies was the big blow of a four-run third.
The Jets left nine runners on base, including the bases loaded in the first. Dyce Applegate was stranded on second in the eighth after reaching on an error and stealing second.
“We had our chances to win the first game,’’ Leaton said. “We had a chance to win it in the seventh. It shouldn’t have come down to that. We didn’t give it our best effort. I told the guys baseball presents you opportunities along the way to win the game and if you don’t take advantage of it, you won’t win the game.’’
NOC Enid out hit Cloud County (5-4) in the second game. The T-Birds had only three RBI, two by Reibenspies.
Enid starter Christian Lafontan allowed only one hit over two an two-thirds innings and struck out seven. The bad news was he walked five and hit two batters.
The T-Birds had four runs in the second, one in the third and five in the fourth.
Cloud County’s Trevor Rinne had a shutout until the fifth when Knott doubled home Adam Dolan, who had singled and Walker, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.
NOC Enid’s next game is scheduled Tuesday against Butler (Kansas) County at 2 p.m. at David Allen.
CLOUD COUNTY 6, NOC ENID 5 (8)
CC 004 001 01 — 6 8 3
NOCE 001 100 30 — 5 8 2
Larkin, Forysthe (7) and Diaz; Kennewell, Buller (3), Freie (7) and Webb, Walker (7). WP — Forysthe. LP — Freie. 2B — O’Neil 2, Reibenspiers, Brown, CC; Callahan, McCandless, Colgan, Polston, NOCE. 3B — White, CC
CLOUD COUNTY 10, NOC ENID 2
CC 041 500 0 — 10 4 0
NOCE 000 020 0 – 2 5 5
Rinne, West (7) and Cox; Lafontan, Hannum (3), McNaughton (4), Callison (5) and Walker. WP — Rinne. LP - Lafontan. 2B — Knott, Polston, NOCE.