Plainsmen hustle to 2-1 win

Enid Plainsmen's Garrett Brooks tags out Oklahoma Drillers' Brady Friesen at home plate Tuesday, June 2, 2020 at David Allen Memorial Ballpark. (Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle)

ENID, Okla. — A lot of hustle and a strong arm helped earn the Enid Plainsmen their second straight win in the Oklahoma Shootout.

Kade Goeke scored all the way from second base on a ground out by teammate Jake Kennedy in the sixth inning for what turned out to be the game-winning run in the Plainsmen’s 2-1 victory over the Oklahoma Drillers 17 Tuesday at David Allen Memorial Ballpark.

Then, to top it off, the Plainsmen second baseman threw out Brady Friesen at home in the top of the seventh inning to prevent the tying run from scoring and preserving the win, as the Plainsmen raised their record to 2-0.

Goeke led off the sixth with a bunt, went to second on a single by Garrett Shull and when the right-handed Kennedy hit a slow roller to second, he never stopped. The throw home was high.

“That’s the stuff that we’re going to have to do with this club,’’ said Enid coach Brad Gore. “We run the bases real well and we have to take advantage of people when we had an opportunity. I’m real proud of him (Goeke) for using his wheels and getting the inning started with a bunt. He was just playing his style of ball.’’

“The third baseman was creeping in and I was able to put it down,’’ Goeke said.

“He did a great job,’’ Gore said of the bunt. “He put it right where he was supposed to.’’

Goeke rounded third confident he would score. He praised Kennedy for giving himself up by hitting it to the opposite field.

“Kennedy did what he needed to do,’’ Goeke said. “I felt I could make it. You have to be aggressive. I was planning on scoring.’’

“I wanted him to take off,’’ Gore said. “The ball wasn’t hit that hard. Our hitting is not where we want it to be, but we scratched around to where we could win the game.’’

Blake Priest and Dallas Goodpasture shut out the Drillers on three hits through the fifth before the visitors scored a run off Shull in the sixth. Conner Owens was hit by a pitch, went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a double by Seth Brecheen.

Shull got out of trouble when Maddux Mayberry, who had come in for Shull at short, scooped up a grounder by Zade Ciseros, touched second to force Colton Robinson out at second and threw to first to complete the double play. Brecheen was stranded at third.

“The hop came right to me,’’ Mayberry said. “It was easy for me to touch the bag and throw to first. It was pretty routine. It was great timing.’’

Friesen had reached third in the seventh when he walked, went to second on a sacrifice by Reid Johnson and went to third when Shull overthrew second on a pickoff attempt.

Ike Shirey, with one out, hit a grounder to Goeke on a drawn-in infield. Goeke’s throw home to catcher Garrett Brooks was on the mark. Shull got Coby Simon to ground out to third baseman Kennedy to end the game.

“Coach had us in tight,’’ Goeke said. “We weren’t going to let that guy score, no matter what. We have been working on that. They hit it right at me.’’

Drillers starter Hayden Branch retired all nine men that he faced. Reliever Friesen retired the next three hitters in the fourth.

However, Jake McCool broke the perfect game by reaching on an error. He was sacrificed to second by Brooks and went to third on a bunt single by Mayberry. Priest bunted down the first base line and a hustling McCool beat the home throw for the first run.

“That was a real good ballgame,’’ Gore said. “Our guys had to make some timely plays and some timely pitches. I thought we played excellent defense. Our pitches threw a lot of strikes. They are a good ballclub. This was a good win for us.’’

Priest allowed only one hit in his three innings. He struck out four and did not walk a batter. Goodpasture allowed two hits and did not walk a batter.

“Those guys (Drillers) are real aggressive,’’ Gore said. “They are going to do a lot of swinging. They won’t do a lot of taking. I was proud of our guys for pounding the zone. Last night we walked a lot of guys, but today we got after it a bit.’’

“It felt great,’’ Priest said. “I felt like I could have gone six or seven today. I was just getting it in there. I’ve been able to throw (older brother Hayden is a catcher for NOC Tonkawa) or I wouldn’t have done that good.’’

Goeke said Priest set the tone early for the Plainsmen.

“He did what he had to do,’’ Goeke said. “We just followed right behind him.’’

Goeke didn’t let a two-month plus layoff keep him off the baseball diamond. His family has its own ballpark in their backyard.

“All of us missed baseball a lot,’’ he said, “but a bunch of guys came over and hit and got some ground balls. I’m in pretty good shape.’’

The Plainsmen play the Oklahoma Mudcats at 5 p.m. Wednesday. They finish the tournament Thursday with the Woodward Travelers at 5 p.m.

“The rest of the summer will be interesting,’’ Goeke said. “I think we will be good this summer and next (high school) season.’’

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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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