David Allen Memorial Ballpark (DAMB)

David Allen Memorial Ballpark

ENID, Okla. — Preston Curtis, subbing for an injured Chance Noah, drove in five runs with two doubles and a home run and threw out a runner at the plate to lead No. 7 seed Carl Albert past No. 2 seed Western Oklahoma, 9-1, in the opening round of the NJCAA Division II Plains Tournament at David Allen Memorial Ballpark Thursday, May 12, 2022.

Curtis had been in and out of the lineup until Vikings left fielder Chance Noah was injured diving for a ball against NOC Tonkawa last week.

“That’s the definition of stepping up right there,’’ said Vikings coach Paul Pulley after the win.

“It feels pretty good,’’ said Curtis, who had two-RBI doubles in the fourth and seventh and a solo homer in the ninth. “I knew they would try to overpower us with fastballs. I just sat on that and made sure I didn’t miss it.’’

Curtis stopped a possible Western threat in the fifth when he fielded a Michael Brinton double off the wall. He threw to cut off man third baseman Reed Carroll, who threw out Angel Polanco at the plate to keep Carl Albert ahead 4-0.

“I think it affected them more than us,’’ Pulley said. “That was maybe a chance for them to get their first break of the game. It sucked some energy out of them.’’

Vikings starter Matthew Holzhammer allowed only three hits and one run over seven and one-third innings. He struck out 10 and walked two.

“I felt good,’’ he said. “I didn’t try to do too much and I stayed in the zone. When I was out of the zone, they chase it all day. The wind blowing in was nice, it held up a lot of balls.’’

Matt Schilling had solo homer and a two-RBI double for the Vikings, who will take a 23-34 record against NOC Enid at 4 p.m. Friday. Western, 21-12, will face East Central (Mo.) at 10 a.m.

Pulley said Riley Lowry will pitch against the Jets.

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Campbell is a former sports writer and current part-time writer for the News & Eagle.

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Graduate of Oklahoma City John Marshall (1972) and University of Oklahoma. Been at News & Eagle since June 19, 1978. Previously worked at Oklahoma Journal, Midland, Texas Reporter & Telegram, Norman Transcript, Elk City Daily News

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