NORMAN — While the focus for the next two days will be on the Crosstown Clash, there's also an important postseason race taking place for Norman High and Norman North's baseball teams.
For the Tigers, it's a fight for position. NHS is in the middle of the pack in District 6A-4, with a 3-7 record in one of the state's most difficult districts placing the Tigers in sixth. With several district games remaining, the Tigers are fighting for a better seed in the playoffs.
At North, a district title could be in the works. At 12-0, North is tied with Westmoore for the district lead. The two teams are guaranteed to finish 1-2 in the district, and both will host regionals. But the winner of a two-game series looming on Monday and Tuesday will have the best seed possible, while the loser will face a more difficult path to the state tournament.
The focus on the district is the reason the Timberwolves are holding out their top two pitchers from the Crosstown Clash. Starters Brad Kinsey and Thomas Hughes will have a week to rest before starting in the district showdown.
“The NHS series is a very difficult spot for us on the schedule,” coach Brian Aylor said. “We can't afford to use any of our top arms in that series, so we'll be looking for some younger kids to step up. We want to win, but not at the cost of the big picture.”
Reed working back into lineup: Norman High's Paul Reed has been slowly making his way back to the mound, but he's not yet back to full strength.
The senior pitched Saturday at a tournament, but coach Pete Sangirardi said he had some trouble after the appearance. With a few weeks remaining before the postseason begins, Sangirardi said he hopes to bring Reed in for a few more relief appearances before giving him a start.