By Corbin Hosler
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Norman North has been a mainstay inside the top 10 of the coaches rankings this season, and the T-Wolves are up to No. 8 this week.
North (9-4) split games with Lawton this weekend before dropping Thursday’s game against Tuttle 6-3.
But North isn’t the only area team to break into the rankings. Westmoore and Southmoore are No. 11 and 12, respectively, and it may not be long before Norman High joins them.
The Tigers (5-5) have steadily moved up and are ranked No. 21 after splitting games with Southmoore earlier in the week. Tthe Tigers may be poised to move even higher in coach Pete Sangirardi’s second year at the helm.
And, while a scheduled tournament last week in Catoosa was canceled due to rain, the Tigers were still able to get in a pair of games on the trip. Sangirardi said that experience is key to their continuing improvement.
“This isn’t a game where you can just not play for a week,” he said. “We were lucky to get two games in, and that helped us be ready this week.”
After a difficult rebuilding season a year ago, Sangirardi said he is pleased by the progress his team has made.
“We’re doing well, a lot better than a year ago, that’s for sure,” he said. “The attitudes are better, and as coaches we feel the team is moving in the right direction.”
Injuries mounting for North: Norman North’s Carson Mulligan will miss a string of games after X-rays revealed a broken hand.
The junior reliever suffered the injury in the fracas that broke out last week at a tournament in Pensacola, Fla. The bench-clearing altercation was ignited after an opposing player attacked DJ Gasso after a close play at the plate.
One of several T-Wolves who suffered injuries ranging from scrapes and bruises to broken bones in the altercation, Mulligan will miss at least several weeks.
Also hurt are Joe Nostrand, who has an MRI scheduled for a possible shoulder injury, and Gasso, who is day-to-day with a strained hamstring.
North freshman impresses in debut: Norman North freshman Leo Gallegos started his varsity career off about as well as he could have hoped.
Playing in his first game, Gallegos moved into the third spot in the lineup and recorded his first career hit on an RBI single in the first inning. He finished the day 2 for 3.
“I thought our lineup needed a spark, and he’s done very well on the freshman level,” coach Brian Aylor said. “He’s not afraid to swing the bat and he’s not going to shy away from the spotlight.”
Tigers leaning on pitching: For NHS, which has struggled at times at the plate this season, the 5-5 record is a reflection of the talented and deep pitching unit coach Pete Sangirardi has put together.
Every loss the Tigers have suffered this year has come by one run, something Sangirardi described as a testament to the pitching staff despite inconsistent plate performances.
“We had three games in a row last week where we only had two hits,” he said. “But our pitching has kept us in every game. We’ll get the bats going.”
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