NORMAN — Tayler Stiles did what any ace is supposed to do. With Team Maryland coming off a loss in its Heartland Classic opener, the Bowie (Md.) native took the mound and pitched one of the best game’s in event history.
Stiles, a Terrapin baseball signee, pitched a complete game shutout, leading Maryland to a 3-0 victory over Georgia. In the process he struck out a tournament record 16 batters in seven innings of work.
The win gave Maryland a 1-1 record heading into the Classic’s second day.
Close call: Team Ohio grabbed a 1-1 record after the first day of competition, but came close to losing its opener to Team Colorado.
Ohio took a 4-2 lead into the seventh and looked to close out the contest, but Colorado scored a run in the seventh to put pressure on Ohio.
Zack Lowther, on the mound, was able to finally put Colorado away as he picked up the save.
“It wasn’t a thing of beauty,” Ohio coach Jeff Mielcarek said. “But we will take it. We got a couple of key hits. Took advantage of a couple of their miscues, and I thought we were in control a good portion of the game. Just couldn’t put them away. Hats off to Colorado for staying in it.”
First hit: Tre Edwards got the first hit of the 2013 Heartland Classic for Team Oklahoma’s game against Maryland The Southmoore graduate lined a single up the middle that Maryland pitcher Peter Solomon tried to grab bare-handed.
Edwards, who has signed to play at Arkansas, also scored the first run of the tournament on a Matt Whatley hit.
Donation: Team Texas has been known to come to the Heartland Classic and do big things. That includes winning the entire tournament, as it did last season But Texas may have made its biggest play when it donated $2,000 to tornado relief.
The donation will be combined with the money raised through the Heartland Classic silent auction, which is being held throughout the day at Norman High. Items include signed baseball from Stan Musial.
Keeping up: As visiting teams are finding out, Oklahoma weather is unpredictable. It has already played havoc with the Heartland Classic schedule, causing confusion for parents, fans and players.
Tournament officials are encouraging fans to check www.heartlandbaseball.org daily for any changes to the tournament schedule. They can also follow the tournament on twitter at @HeartlandBB or @eyeamtruth.
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