The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Two down, one to go.
That’s the message coming from the Timberwolves after Norman North downed Edmond memorial 10-3 to complete a Day One sweep at their Class 6A regional.
It wasn’t a perfect performance for North, which earned the right to host a regional after winning District 6A-2, but it was a dominating one. The T-Wolves run-ruled U.S. Grant 24-0 in the opener before cruising to another big win against Edmond Memorial.
With the pair of victories, North now stands just one game away from returning to the state tournament where the T-Wolves finished as runners-up a season ago. They’ll get that opportunity at 6:30 p.m. today when they meet whichever team emerges from the loser’s bracket.
“We couldn’t ask for anything else,” coach Brian Aylor said. “Everything went according to plan.”
In the day’s first game against U.S. Grant, the Timberwolves went to work at the plate and turned in an extreme performance. They banged out 17 hits in four innings of work, including a 15-run third inning, and turned in six extra base hits. Ryan McDaniel and Thomas Hughes both homered for North, and McDaniel and Kallen Snodgrass each had five RBIs in a business-like performance.
Vitally, the T-Wolves used the opportunity to throw Shelby Garza, who allowed one hit in the win. That meant North could save its top two pitchers for the rest of the regional.
That meant for the second game of the day — the most important for North, with the winner automatically advancing to the regional final while the loser is forced to play in an elimination game today — ace Brad Kinsey was ready to go.
And Kinsey didn’t disappoint. The senior struck out six and allowed just four hits as North jumped out to an early lead courtesy of some timely RBI hits. A 4-0 lead in the first inning after Colton Hansmeyer’s RBI single was all the run support Kinsey would need, and he gave way to Austin Cranford, who entered in the sixth and struck out four batters to record six outs and send North into the regional final.
The T-Wolves are one game away from state and have No. 2 pitcher Thomas Hughes slated to be on the mound, but Aylor knows they are a long way from closing it out.
“Three of the four regionals we’ve won since I’ve been here we’ve done it with a loss,” he said. “There’s a lot of work left to be done, and that’s what we’ll address before we play again. They don’t just give you a pass to state, but we’re in a good place and we’ll hopefully give our guys a chance to celebrate a regional title on their home field.”
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