CNHI News Service
ENID, Okla. —
The Stillwater baseball team was on the wrong side of an upset in Thursday’s opening game of the Gladys Winters Tournament, losing to unranked host Enid 11-6.
In the next game, the No. 9 Pioneers enjoyed the other side.
Nate Jolliff drove in three of Stillwater’s five runs and starter Sam Kraybill dazzled No. 5 Tulsa Union’s usually potent lineup, pitching a complete game and holding the Redskins to just three hits as the Pioneers won their nightcap 5-2.
“I told the kids after the Enid game, ‘Look at the scoreboard, it’s back to zeros again,’” said Stillwater coach Tony Holt. “I used to coach football, and you’d have to wait a week to get that taste out of your mouth. That’s what’s great about baseball.”
Stillwater (9-6) was held to one hit through one turn of its lineup before Carson Teel hit a two-out single in the top of the third and Jolliff opened the scoring with two-run shot well over the 328-foot left field wall at Enid’s David Allen Memorial Ballpark.
“It feels good to play like we can,” said Jolliff, who had two hits in four trips. “We’ve been struggling a bit lately, not hitting the ball very well, and we squared up a lot that time. It’s good to be back at it.”
Jolliff tallied another RBI in the top of the fifth, and Jon Littell and Taylor Throne each hit RBI doubles in the inning to extend the Pioneers’ lead to 5-0 entering the bottom of the fifth, the only frame in which Union (11-4) gained traction against Kraybill.
The Redskins, who entered the game having scored 129 runs in 14 games, scored their only two runs in the inning but never came closer, and Teel snared a deep foul ball in left field to quash Union’s last attempt at a rally.
“I feel like we should be able to play like this every game,” said Kraybill, who improved to 3-1 with the win.
“(Union’s) one of the best teams in the state,” Holt said. “That’s even more impressive the way Sam threw against a lineup like that.”
The nightcap win made up for a disappointing opener, when Stillwater allowed seven first-inning runs to tournament host Enid. Will Fowler took the loss, failing to record an out and getting pulled after five batters. The sophomore was 2-0 entering the game, allowing just one run on two hits in 8 2/3 innings pitched.
“It was just one of those days,” Fowler said. “Baseball’s a tough game. You can’t have a good outing every time, I guess.”
Stillwater plays No. 3 Yukon today at 6 p.m. in Yukon, where two of the tournament’s games will be played. The Pioneers play Putnam City North Saturday at noon in Enid.