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June 19, 2013

Twice is nice for Team Oklahoma in Heartland Classic

Tourney gets off to exciting start on first day

NORMAN — Parker Rigler said he isn’t an overpowering pitcher. He defines his style as confounding.

After taking the mound for Team Oklahoma on Tuesday in the Heartland Classic opener, Team Maryland may agree.

Rigler got the no decision in Oklahoma’s 3-2 win over Maryland at Norman High. He pitched six innings, allowed six hits, two runs and struck out five.

“I felt pretty good,” Rigler said. “My stuff was working. I had good command.”

Rigler graduated from Edmond Memorial this past year and will be playing baseball at Cowley County (Kan.) Community College next season.

“They have great coaches,” Rigler said. “They have always been a competitive team in the Jayhawk conference. It’s just a real good program.”

But right now his first priority is helping Team Oklahoma pick up wins.

“I thought Parker did an outstanding job for us on the mound,” Team Oklahoma coach Jeff Schafer said. “He was constantly ahead in the count. The starting pitcher gave us a chance to win the ball game.”

Oklahoma kept up its winning ways in the nightcap. After trailing Team Ohio 5-0, they scored six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to win a thriller 6-5 at NHS.

Team Oklahoma moved to 2-0 in the first round of action. They will play Arkansas at 11 a.m. today at Southmoore.

Rigler gave up his first hit in the third inning to Maryland’s Andy Szamski. Until then, he’d been untouchable.

Maryland began to peck away at Rigler and tied the game at 1-1 in the third inning. Maryland then loaded the bases with only one out.

After a brief meeting at the mound, Rigler got Maryland to hit into a double play and end the inning.

“It was great defense behind me,” Rigler said. “There was a couple of great plays that really got me out of the inning. I didn’t do anything to get myself out of the inning.”

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