Enid News and Eagle
BARTLESVILLE, Okla. —
The most-used cliche in baseball might be everyone is 0-0 at the start of a conference postseason tournament.
Northern Oklahoma College Enid put some truth in that statement in the first round of the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association Region 2 Division II baseball tournament at Doegnes Ballpark Thursday.
The Jets (17-35), who had lost to No. 3 seed Redlands three times in the regular season, got revenge on the Cougars 7-3.
“This is nothing new to our guys,’’ said NOC Enid coach Raydon Leaton. “The schedule we played prepared us for these situations. We told the guys before the tournament, ‘let’s make a run.’ We felt good coming in. We have been playing well and we have a lot of confidence.’’
The Jets play Murray State, a 10-0 winner over NOC Tonkawa, at 3:30 p.m. today. John Chidester will pitch for NOC Enid. Redlands will play Western Oklahoma, which beat Carl Albert 4-3, at 7 p.m.
It was a day the Jets were able to overcome adversity.
Zach Postoak, after giving up two runs on two walks, an error and a double, gave up only one run the rest of the way. He struck out seven and walked five, while giving up only four hits.
“Zach settled in and threw a great game,’’ Leaton said. “Zach went right at them. They didn’t hit the ball very hard.’’
Sammy Terry, threw out his shoulder in a first-inning at-bat.
A.J. Wilson went 3-for-4 with an RBI. He scored a run.
“Those were the best consecutive at-bats that he has had all year,’’ Leaton said. “You really like it when the season is on the line and you’re trying to win game and someone steps up like A.J. did today. We had a little adversity there, but we plugged in the next guy and kept going.’’
The Jets had 12 hits with Dylan Walker, Korbin Polston and Chase Knott all having two hits. Braden Martin and Aaron McCandless both had two RBI.
NOC Enid broke the game open with four runs in the seventh to take a 7-2 lead.
Polston led off by reaching on an error. He scored after a single by Knott, and a sacrifice fly by Wilson. Walker reached on the second error of the inning to put runners on second and third.
Martin singled in Knott. Dyce Applegate and McCandless followed with a two-RBI single.
“We swung the bats pretty well,’’ Leaton said. “They made some mistakes that we took advantage of.
Redlands threatened in the seventh when Christian Thaxton’s second double of the game scored Matei Sucha, who had singled. Postoak retired the next three hitters.
“We knew they would make a run at us,’’ Leaton said. “It was good that we got out of that with just one run.’’
NOC Enid tied the game with two runs in the fourth.
Knott reached on an error and scored after singles by Wilson and Walker, and a sacrifice fly by Martin. Wilson scored on a wild pitch.
The Jets took a 3-2 lead with a run in the fifth. Polston singled, stole second, went to third on T.J. Turner’s ground out and scored on a Knott single. NOC Enid’s defense backed Postoak with a solid effort, including a pick-off by Postoak and a couple of double plays.
“Getting in the losers bracket is not any fun, it’s a hard climb out,’’ Leaton said. “The easiest way to win a tournament is win every time out. We’ll enjoy this one tonight, watch the other games, and be ready to play (today).’’