The Norman Transcript

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March 29, 2014

Timberwolves pass test against ’Cats

NORMAN — Norman North faced one of the toughest games of its early season schedule Friday when the Timberwolves traveled to Southmoore, and coach Brian Aylor said his team passed with flying colors.

North defeated Southmoore 4-1 on the back of a terrific start by Thomas Hughes, who went five innings before giving way to Austin Cranford to save the game. Hughes struck out five over five innings, and also went 3 for 3 with an RBI at the plate to help his own cause.

“Thomas showed me a lot tonight,” Aylor said. “He had a big-time gutsy performance on the mound. It takes a tremendous amount of guts to pitch the way he pitched in that environment while battling through a floating zone.”

Hughes did his work early in the counts, throwing 18 of his 22 first pitches in a count for strikes. Backed up by Cranford, the pair allowed North to fight through three errors to win their fourth game in a row.

“We’re playing well right now, and hopefully the growing pains are over,” Aylor said. “We’re carrying the momentum over to Monday against Edmond North, and we’re excited to get back to district play.”

Norman High 3, Bethel 0

The Tigers continued their winning ways on Friday, getting a big game from their pitching staff in a shutout victory over Bethel on Friday.

PJ Grundsted started the game and went two innings before giving way to Tristen Epperson, who gave up just two hits in five innings as Norman High picked up its sixth win in eight games to move to 8-4.

Sam Richison went 2-for-3 for the Tigers, who scored a run in each of the first three innings before trading zeros the rest of the way.

“We pitched well, we just didn’t hit well tonight,” coach Pete Sangirardi said after the game.

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