NORMAN — The Timberwolves are tournament champions.
Norman North completed its run at the Bo Bowman tournament in Lawton by soundly defeating Putnam City 7-2 in the championship game to win the title.
North’s undefeated run through the tournament is even more impressive considering the T-Wolves did it while conserving their pitching staff as much as possible. With a pair of district games on Monday and Tuesday, coach Brian Aylor wanted to make sure he would have his usual rotation ready for the critical matchups. North sits tied with undefeated Westmoore atop District 6A-2 and will meet Edmond Memorial twice next week.
On Saturday, that meant North turned to Shelby Garza, who made his first appearance of the season. And he delivered, throwing five innings before giving way to Austin Cranford to close out the game. The pair combined to allow just two runs and six hits by the Pirates, who were trying to play catch-up after North used a 5-run third inning to go up 6-1.
“In his first outing of the year, he gives us five good innings,” Aylor said of Garza. “We had a lot of younger guys step up this weekend.”
The win capped what has been an impressive and unexpected run for North, which is undefeated in its last 10 games after falling to 3-4 early in the season when Kallen Snodgrass went out with an injury.
The title is North’s second, after winning the tournament in 2012.
“This team could have gone either way early in the season,” Aylor said. “But the adversity brought them closer together and they’re having a lot of fun.
“The biggest key was chemistry, and that’s the ingredient you can’t really put your finger on but is absolutely crucial to have success. Everyone has accepted their role and things are rolling for us.”