The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

May 5, 2014

Jets open regional with Carl Albert

ENID, Okla. — Northern Oklahoma College Enid (31-22), the No. 3 seed, will play No. 4 seed Carl Albert (15-32) at noon Thursday in the first round of the Region 2 baseball tournament in Bartlesville.

Other first-round games will pit No. 2 seed Redlands (31-18) against No. 5 seed NOC Tonkawa (17-35) at 3:30 and No. 1 seed Murray State (37-15) against No. 6 seed Western (30-25) at 7.

The Jets took three out of four games from the Vikings in the Oklahoma Collegiate Athletic Conference season.

The two teams split at Enid with the Jets winning the opener, 5-3 and losing the second, 4-1. NOC Enid swept Carl Albert at Poteau, 6-4 in 11 innings and 8-4.

“If we take care of business and if we play well, we should be in good shape,’’ said NOC Enid head  coach Raydon Leaton. “We had four good games against them, so our hands should be full.’’

Leaton said he was undecided about his first-round starter. Jets ace Jon Chidester was the losing pitcher in the 4-1 loss.

“I have to review what we did against them,’’ Leaton said.

The tournament is a double-elimination affair. The winner hosts the Plains district championship May 16-18 against the Region 6 and 16 winners.

That winner advances to the NJCAA Division II World Series at David Allen Memorial Ballpark May 24-31.

Murray State is the defending national champion.

“This is as balanced as the regional has been,’’ Leaton said.

The Jets landed three players on the All-Region first team — shortstop Nick Yoning, outfielder Korbin Polston and Chidester and three on the second team — catcher Dillon Harp, third baseman Nik Gifford and first baseman Jerame Littell.

Yoning hit .326 with five double, five triples, seven home runs and 28 RBI. Polston hit .331 with five doubles, two triples, four homers and 24 RBI. He threw out 10 runners from right field. Chidester was 7-4 with 3.03 ERA. He struck out 61 batters in 711⁄3 innings and walked 29.

Harp hit .333 with 10 doubles and 18 RBI and had 14 assists. Gifford hit .341 with 12 doubles, one triple, two homers and 30 RBI. Littell batted .306 with 10 doubles two triples, 10 homers and 44 RBI.

“They are all very deserving,’’ Leaton said. “They all had really good years.’’

The Region’s three-year deal with Bartlesville to host the tournament expires this year. David Allen Memorial Ballpark had hosted the event before that for several years.

Leaton said the region will vote in September whether to return to Bartlesville.

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