Stillwater News Press

Sports

August 2, 2012

Legionnaires finish season with loss to Lawton at state tournament

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma American Legion State Tournament went exactly how the regular season did for the Stillwater Legionnaires — up and down.

After losing 17-3 to the Oklahoma Outlaws on Wednesday, Stillwater rebounded with a 5-3 victory over the Durant Braves Thursday afternoon but ended their season with a 17-6 loss to the Lawton Fort Sill Colonels at Jim Wade Stadium on the Oklahoma Christian University campus.

The Legionnaires finished 2-2 at the tournament. Coach Scott Baugh said he was pleased with his team’s effort.

“After getting beat bad by the Outlaws  it could have been easy for us to fold our tents,” Baugh said. “We came out and played hard. Then came back at five and played as hard as we could.”

The Legionnaires were tied at 2 after the second inning with the Outlaws, who were runners-up last season. Oklahoma outscored Stillwater 15-1 the rest of the game.

Nathan Melton of Glencoe started and took the loss. In 3 2/3 innings, he gave up five earned runs on six hits, walking six and striking out four. Melton was behind in the count to most of the batters he faced, only throwing 47 of 105 pitches for strikes. Legionnaire pitchers combined for 11 walks. Jared Bartmann of Perry was the only Stillwater pitcher who threw more strikes (36) than balls (29).

Thursday was the first time Stillwater played Durant since beating them 13-8 in the Brad Holt Memorial Tournament.

The Braves took the lead in the first on a throwing error by Legionnaires’ catcher Reed Roberts. That lead stood until the sixth.

Stillwater High School graduate Dalton Dowling led off with a single to center. Hayden Seifert of Guthrie was hit by a pitch. After a sacrifice bunt by Edward Layton, Brady Baugh walked to load the bases. Jordan Poole of Oilton gave Stillwater all the runs it needed hitting a grand slam over the right field wall.

Poole was the starting pitcher and earned the victory in an eight inning outing. He gave up three runs — only one earned — on five hits, walked four and struck out nine. Layton pitched the ninth to earn the save.

“(Poole) pitched eight great innings,” Baugh said. “He got that grand slam for us in the sixth. He played really well.”

The second game started as a back-and-forth affair with three ties and two lead changes. The Legionnaires grabbed their only lead in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single by Weston Ward of Perry. Ward paced Stillwater’s offense with three hits in five at-bats.

Lawton seized momentum the next inning and didn’t let go. The Colonels tied the game in the fifth and took the lead for good with a four-run sixth inning.

The Legionnaires were outscored 13-2 in the final 3 innings — having allowed seven in the top of the eighth. The Colonels were held scoreless in just two innings, and eight of their 10 batters recorded at least two hits.

Dowling started and took the loss after six innings and was pulled after three batters in the seventh. The Stillwater graduate allowed ten runs with seven earned.

The Legionnaires finish the season 15-26. Brady Baugh, Layton, Seifert and Dowling played their final game for the Legionnaires, as they will be too old to compete next season. Baugh said he felt the team ended the season on a good note.

“At times we didn’t play very good baseball,” Baugh said. “We could have come here and dropped the first two games of the state tournament. We didn’t do that. We played well.”

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