ENID, Okla. — Shane Nixon wasn't in the starting lineup Saturday when he and his Northern Oklahoma College Enid teammates faced off with Kellogg at the NJCAA Division II World Series at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.
But Nixon, who would enter the game before it was suspended, made the most of his opportunity when the game resumed Sunday with the Jets leading 9-7 with one out in the top of the ninth.
The freshman second baseman had a two-RBI single to highlight a six-run ninth and made two sparkling plays in the infield as the Jets recorded a 14-8 win over the Bruins.
NOC Enid (39-17) moves on to face top-seeded Pearl River at 7:15 p.m. Monday in the winners bracket. Pearl River beat Pasco-Hernando, 8-4, Sunday night.
"(Nixon) played really good defense and got a big hit for us,'' said Jets coach Raydon Leaton. "He's a good player. That's why we put him out there.''
Nixon has long been known for his glove, but came into the Series hitting .248 and struggled at the plate at the recent Region 2 Tournament.
With the bases loaded, Nixon singled past a drawn-in infield to score Dylan Caplinger and Garrett Misenheimer with the first two runs of the inning.
"I felt a little bit of pressure,'' he said. "It feels good. This being my first time (at the Series) I was a little nervous, but I got my bat up there and got a good swing. I was a little bit more relaxed. You're a little nervous the first day, but the second day you're more relaxed. It feels really good to get the first win of the tournament. We'll see what happens tomorrow.''
The Jets were relaxed for the 11 a.m. start after the game had been suspended shortly after 7 p.m. Saturday.
Brendon Woelfle opened the resumed game with a walk after fouling off several pitches. Nixon followed with a single on a 3-1 count and stole second. Seth Graves' sac fly scored Woelfle. Nixon stole second and scored on a high hop single by Calvert. E.J. Taylor walked and Alec Buonasera scored Calvert with a single.
"We came out swinging the bat,'' Leaton said. "We put insurance on the board, which we needed. We did a good job. We were able to get in there and find a way to score runs.Those runs were big. It allowed us to relax a bit and not have to make quality pitches. We could go right at them and let the defense do the work. It allowed us to take the rest of the day off and rest a bit.''
Conner Priest allowed two hits — including an RBI single by A.J. Mitchell — in the bottom of the ninth. Nixon had robbed Conner Brawley of a hit when he went far to his right to gobble up a grounder.
"It was tough with the rain delay,'' Nixon said, "but we were able to go out there and get a good win. We got a good night's rest and we were ready to play.''
Leaton said he didn't want any more rain delays or suspensions, but was proud of how his team responded.
"No matter when you're playing or what the situation is, you should come out ready to play baseball,'' Leaton said. "We were ready to go.''