Stillwater News Press

March 30, 2013

Teel's arm and bat carries Pioneers past Panthers

Ryan Costello
CNHI News Service

ENID, Okla. —  Carson Teel was the only pitcher Stillwater needed, and the biggest reason No. 14 Putnam City North needed five pitchers Saturday at the Gladys Winters Tournament in Enid.

Teel had more hits at the plate — four — than he surrendered on the mound — three — and drove in four runs as the No. 9 Pioneers trounced PC North 13-1.

“It felt good,” said Teel, who struck out three and improved to 3-2 with the win. “I go through a lot of ups and downs, and right now it’s on the up.”

So is the rest of his team.

The win was a continuation of what coach Tony Holt called a “roller coaster” season for Stillwater. The Pioneers (10-7) are 4-2 against top 20 teams but have three two-game losing streaks, including a season-opening pair that started with a 14-9 loss to PC North.

“We’re inexperienced,” Holt said. “Even some of our seniors are inexperienced, so it’s hard. We’ve played 17 games now, so it’s getting better, but we are just still on a roller coaster ride.”

At least the cars seem to be on the rise.

“The roller coaster is going up, for sure,” Teel said. “I hope it goes up for a long time. We know how good we can be and we know how bad we can be.”

After very few things went right for the Pioneers in a 10-0 run-rule loss to No. 3 Yukon on Friday, few things didn’t on Saturday. Following a Teel groundout in the Pioneers’ first at bat — the only time Teel was retired — Nathan Jolliff scorched a line drive that reached the wall in right center for a triple. Two batters later, Will Pendleton scored Jolliff on a sacrifice fly to give Stillwater the lead.

Teel, who went 4-for-5, hit his first of three doubles in the top of the third, driving in Luke Spencer to give the Pioneers a 2-0 advantage.

The Stillwater junior didn’t give up a hit until the bottom of the third, when PC North’s Jeff Harris laced a double down the left field line, scoring the Panthers’ only run on an RBI groundout by Garrett Perez. Teel retired 12 of the next 13 batters he faced and hit RBI doubles in the fifth and seventh innings, taking part in four- and six-run rallies in those frames to seal the Pioneers’ second win in four tries at the Gladys Winters Tournament.

PC-North’s Dylan Brown took the loss, giving up six earned runs on six hits, two walks, two hit batters and a strikeout in four innings. Brown failed to record an out in the top of the fifth, giving up a single, a walk and committing an error before being relieved by Josh Matelsky.

Brown’s exit signaled a revolving door of PC North pitchers. Matelsky lasted just two-thirds before being pulled for Conner Finkhouse, who lasted two innings before the Panthers needed two pitchers, Perez and Chase Kylar, to record the final Stillwater out.

By then, the damage was done, and the Panthers went quietly in the final half inning.

PC North entered the tournament 6-4 but is likely to lose its No. 14 ranking after finishing the only team in the five-team Gladys Winters field without a win.

Stillwater will host unranked Edmond Santa Fe at 5 p.m. Tuesday before a two-day home-and-home set with district foe Bixby starting at 6 p.m. Friday in Stillwater.