Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

March 9, 2013

Tigers sweep East Central for 1st 2 wins

Tahlequah's offense finally hit its stride, and the Tigers finally found the win column.

Tahlequah pounded out 15 hits and rolled to a 21-3 victory over East Central at Tiger Field on Friday. Tahlequah, ranked ninth in Class 5A, followed that up with a 17-2 victory in the second game of the doubleheader.

“It’s always good to get the first (win); I don’t care who it’s against," said Tahlequah coach Nick Zodrow, whose team snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 2-3 overall and 2-2 in District 5A-3 play.

“Maybe that’s kind of what we needed to wake the bats up a little bit and get some confidence.”

The Tigers will continue league play Monday at Skiatook at 4:30 p.m.

They'll do so with some swagger at the plate.

Tahlequah blistered East Central's pitching combination of Brandon Smith, Andrew Callahan and Kyle Wright for hit after hit. The Tigers also drew nine walks, too.

“Sometimes pitchers like that, they make you be more disciplined,” Zodrow said. “They’re not throwing the ball in 80s, but he’s making you hit strikes and have a good approach. It made us be mentally strong and not give at-bats away.”

East Central (0-5, 0-3) jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Smith's run-scoring double to right-center field.

Tahlequah would follow suit with a run of its own in the opening frame when Austin Riley scored on Connor Mutzig's ground ball to first base, which was bobbled by Callahan.

The Tigers then blew the game open in the second inning, sending 10 batters to the plate, which resulted in six runs on five hits. Tahlequah went ahead when Jordan Blalock scored on a balk, and that's when the Tigers unleashed on Smith, who was tagged with the loss for East Central.

Mutzig's two-run double to right field highlighted a string of four consecutive RBI hits by Houston Glad, Colby Brittain and Lane Cobb, who tripled to left field.

Tahlequah continued to churn runs out in the third inning, batting around again with Logan Lewis, Riley, Glad, Cobb and Ryan Sanders all driving in runs.

Sanders picked up the victory for the Tigers, giving up three runs in three innings of work.

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