The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

April 1, 2012

Faulkner's homer gives Jets 9-7 win

ENID — Northern Oklahoma College Enid had a second-straight Hollywood ending in beating Northeastern A&M, ranked No. 7 in Division I, 9-7 at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.

Christian Faulkner hit a walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to cap a three-run rally as the Jets — ranked No. 5 in Division II — overcame a 7-6 deficit.

Faulkner wrapped his sixth home run of the season around the left field foul poll as the Jets raised their record to 25-10 going into Thursday’s Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference opener with Murray State.

“We couldn’t have written a better script to go into conference with,’’ said NOC Enid assistant coach Scott Mansfield. “The guys are really geared up for it now.’’

Faulkner drove in the winning run two weeks earlier in an 11-10 last-at-bat win over Des Moines (Iowa) Area Community College.

“He knows what to do when the game is on the line,’’ Mansfield said. “He’s a good enough hitter to know we’re going to let him swing the bat. He does a good job when he’s in that situation.’’

The Norseman had broken a 6-6 tie with a run in the ninth when Dustin Exford singled in Cody Riley, who had opened the inning with a double.

The Jets delievered the KO blow quickly in the ninth.

Tyler Walker reached on an error. Pinch-runner Chase Knott scored on a double by J.R. Head. Faulkner followed with a home run, which was just fair.

“A two-run walk-off homer is a two-run walk-off homer,’’ Mansfield said. “We’ll take it anyway we can get it.’’

Head, who scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh in a 3-2 win over Rose State in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday, was 3-for-4 with  three RBI.

He hit a solo homer — his fourth of the season — in the sixth. He stole a base as well and doubled.

“He’s our catalyst,’’ Mansfield said.

Faulkner was 2-for-5 with two RBI. Brandon Ruiz was 2-for-3 with two stolen bases and a run scored. Tanner Cruts was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

“Everyone from one to nine is seeing the ball well,’’ Mansfield said. “A game like this shows the character of the guys. They never think they are out of it. They always find a way to win. I know we beat a good team today for sure.’’

The Jets had taken a 4-2 lead with four runs in the second. Tyler Wilkens drew a bases-loaded walk. Logan Bradley scored on a fielder’s choice by Logan Glasgow. Cruts, who singled earlier, and Glasgow scored on an error.

The Jets made it 5-3 with a run in the fourth as Cruts doubled, went to third on a sacrifice by Glasgow and scored on a single by Head.

NEO answered back with a run in the ffth and two in thse sixth before Head’s solo homer made it 6-5 in the sixth. The Norsemen took the lead with single runs in the eighth and ninth.

The Jets used seven pitchers on the day. Tyler Dean got the win. He allowed two hits and a run in the ninth but got a strikeout to end the inning.

“Tyler did what we needed him to do,’’ Mansfield said.

NEO was led by Cody Riley, who was 3-for-4 with two RBI and two doubles. Dom Samyn was 2-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI as well as double.

The Norsemen had 11 hits on the day.

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