By Derek Brown
2014 Stillwater News Press
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Stillwater hosted Putnam City on Monday night. The Pioneers were motivated for a couple of reasons.
The game was the district opener for the Pioneers and the first home bout for SHS. Stillwater came ready to play and picked up a 12-6 victory. Stillwater earned 12 runs on 12 hits and had just one error. Putnam City got seven hits and also had an error.
“You’re obviously always pleased when you win the game but there were a few things we could’ve done better. We might have been able to finish them off early but we won our first district game,” Stillwater coach Jimmy Harris said.
Harris began his season with the Pioneers this year and coached his first home game in Stillwater.
Stillwater’s Sam Kraybill started on the bump. Kraybill picked up seven strikeouts and allowed four runs. Mason Stuart took over on the hill in the top of the sixth inning. Stuart allowed two runs and got three Pirates to strikeout.
“I thought Sam did a good job, he did what he was supposed to do. I wish we would’ve offensively helped him a little bit more and maybe we could’ve shortened the game a little bit more. Mason came in and did a good job and did what he needed to do. I was really proud of those two,” Harris said.
The Pioneers came out ready to play on their home field. Stillwater forced Putnam City to go three up and three down in the top half of the first inning. The Pioneers followed that by earning five hits, two walks, and six scores. Stillwater scored all of its first inning runs with two outs.
SHS’ TJ Black put the first run on the scoreboard after Tyler Burnett got on base off of a PC error for a quick 1-0 lead. Will Fowler knocked in Jon Littell and Brooks Zimmerman to extend the lead to 3-0. Tyler Burnett stole third base and home plate on a Garrett Lenz pitch that got behind Putnam City’s Ryan Keller, catcher, to get home. Harrison Cornforth brought in Michael Higgins and Carson Teel hit in Higgins for a 6-0 lead after one inning.
Putnam City answered with two runs from Crash Davis and Ricky Adame in the top of the second inning to cut into the Pioneer lead to 6-2.
The Pirates scored another two innings in the top of the fifth to pull within striking distance of Stillwater at 6-4 midway through the fifth.
Stillwater added its cushion back after Cornforth was brought in by a walk with the bases loaded. Littell flew out to center field with the bases loaded and Ryan Hoecker crossed the plate. Carson Teel stepped on home plate after a pitch got away from PC’s Race Kilburn for a 9-4 lead headed into the sixth inning.
Stillwater sent out Mason Stuart on the mound for the sixth inning. Stuart walked the first two batters – who eventually scored to pull the Stillwater lead to 9-6. Stuart ended the inning striking out the final two batters.
The Pioneers must have not felt comfortable with a three run lead and got the bats hot in the bottom of the sixth. Tanner Swick, who was a base-runner for Higgins, scored after Cornforth brought him in with a hit to centerfield. Later in the inning Teel brought in Cornforth and Hoecker with a hit to right field for a 12-6 lead.
Putnam City went three up and three down to end the game with the Pioneers up 12-6.
Stillwater will take the victory but the Pioneers feel that they left a few runs off of the board. Stillwater went scoreless in the second, third and fourth innings.
“We probably had too many flyouts. These guys they’re playing well though,” Harris said.
Stillwater moved up to 8-1 this year and has won seven games in a row. The Pioneers will go to Putnam City to finish off the two-game district series with the Pirates at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
“We’re playing pretty good. We’re still learning. They’re learning from me and I’m learning from them. It’s going to come together. When it does it’s going to be a good thing,” Harris said.