Stillwater News Press

April 6, 2013

Stillwater High baseball sweeps Bixby

By Nick Snow

BIXBY, Okla. — If it were up to Stillwater High School junior catcher Michael Higgins, every district game would be against Bixby.

A day after belting a bases-loaded double that opened the floodgates in an 11-1 victory Friday, Higgins two-run blast to center once again provided the spark Stillwater needed as the Pioneers beat Bixby 7-4 Saturday in Bixby.

“Michael has had a couple of big hits these last two games,” Stillwater coach Tony Holt said. “They had cut our lead to 4-3 and then he got that big home run. That’s two nights in a row and two big hits for us. He’s a talented young man and he’s just swinging the bat really well for us.”

Sam Kraybill (4-1) picked up the win for Stillwater (12-7, 6-1 in district) allowing four runs in 5.2 innings of work.

“I don’t know if Sam had his best stuff, but that’s a sign of a good pitcher,” Holt said. “He was able to find what worked. We had a couple of errors in the field, but overall I thought he pitched pretty well.”

Stillwater jumped out to an early lead thanks to back to back singles by Carson Teel and Jon Littell. Teel later scored on Taylor Throne’s fielder’s choice.

Bixby then tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the second when Tristan Cavalli took Kraybill’s 1-1 offering over the left field wall for a solo home run, but the Pioneers didn’t stay down for long.

Following a walk to Nate Jolliff and a double by Littell to lead off the bottom of the third, Throne drove in his second run of the game with a grounder to third. Will Pendleton then singled home Littell before Tyler Burnett scored Pendleton during Stillwater’s three-run third inning as the Pioneers took a 4-1 lead.

Bixby closed the gap in the bottom of the third, when Kraybill hit two batters and walked another as the Spartans tallied two more runs.

But that’s when Higgins turned the game around — sending a rope over the center field fence for a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth.

The Pioneers tacked on one more in the fifth as Jolliff scored T.J. Black to add a little insurance, but that was more than enough for Will Fowler, who picked up the save by getting the final four outs.

“We’re as pleased as we can be,” Holt said. “We knew it was going to be tough. We only have one district loss, but any game on the road is tough. We don’t take anything for granted and I was very proud of the way they performed. We still made some mistakes, but the important thing was that we got the win.”

The Pioneers will travel to Northwestern Oklahoma State University to face Alva Tuesday before returning home for the Stillwater Invitational Thursday.