SKIATOOK — The regional host got the better of the No. 1 seed for the second straight day.
Class 5A No. 10 Tahlequah could muster only three hits in a 10-0 loss to 5A No. 20 Skiatook in a regional championship game at Bob Patterson Field.
Tahlequah quickly fell behind 3-0 after one inning and never could get any offense going. The Tigers got singles from Logan Lewis, Connor Mutzig and Austin Riley as their only offense on the night.
Colby Brittain settled in for Tahlequah (21-14) after allowing Skiatook’s three early runs. But the Bulldogs struck for seven runs in the fifth to cut the game short via the run-rule.
Tahlequah 5, Memorial 4 (10 innings)
The Tahlequah Tigers were not ready to let their season come to an end quite yet.
Despite squandering a two-run, seventh-inning lead, the Tigers rallied with solid pitching and clutch hitting, ultimately holding on for a 10-inning marathon victory over the Tulsa Memorial Chargers (16-22) in Friday’s early elimination round.
Houston Glad got things started in the top of the first inning, with a one-out single. Dakotah Boydston followed with a double into the gap, setting the table for Connor Mutzig. Mutzig delivered Glad with a single of his own, followed by a Robert Holderbee sacrifice fly, and Tahlequah led 2-0.
Glad resumed his role as fire starter in the top half of the third inning, reaching on an error by the Chargers’ third baseman. Boydston followed with a mammoth shot over the right field wall that momentarily appeared to give the Tigers a 4-0 lead. The ball sailed foul, however, and Boydston would settle for a free pass. Mutzig was the beneficiary of another Chargers fielding gaffe that plated Glad. Four pitches later, Boydston cruised home on a wild pitch, and the Tiger lead was 4-0.
Tahlequah starter Stephen Wheeler cruised through the first three innings of play, but ran into trouble in the bottom of the fourth inning.
He plunked Chad Nichols to lead off the frame. Two batters later, Devon Perez laced a single into right-center. Memorial starting pitcher Kyle Roberts plated Nichols with a sacrifice fly, followed by an RBI single from Alex Maynor and the lead was cut in half.
Wheeler wasn’t out of the woods quite yet, however. After a miscue in left field allowed Jerry Harris to reach base, the Chargers had runners on second and third with two outs. Wheeler responded with a strike out, fanning Kyle Consodine with a nasty breaking ball, and the Tigers lead was preserved at 4-2.
Wheeler was back in a jam in the sixth inning when a double and an error moved the tying run to second base for Memorial. Tahlequah manager Nick Zodrow went to Glad, who responded by inducing a pop up and earning a strike out to end the threat.
Wheeler went 5 1/3 innings, surrendering six hits, three walks and two earned runs, while striking out three.
The Chargers managed to get to Glad in the seventh inning with single and a hit batter, followed by a Shane Consodine double to tie the game. Glad worked through the remainder of the inning, however, moving the contest into extra innings.
The teams traded futile plate appearances through the eighth and ninth innings, before Tahlequah finally broke through in the 10th.
Connor Mutzig led off the inning with a walk, Holderbee pushed him up the second base with a sacrifice bunt, and with two outs, Wheeler jumped on the first pitch, lacing an RBI single back up the middle.
Tahlequah closer Austin Riley responded with a perfect bottom half of the 10th to earn the save.