The Norman Transcript

Sports

April 26, 2013

Timberwolves hold off Jaguars for right to host regional

NORMAN — The T-Wolves are district champions after an impressive victory over Westmoore in a tightly contested game that came down to the wire.

In what amounted to a district title game against Westmoore on Thursday, North avoided a repeat of last season’s late collapse by responding to a Westmoore comeback when pinch hitter Corey Carter’s fifth-inning single put North on top 4-3.

That gave pitcher Austin Cranford, in relief of Brad Kinsey, a one-run lead to work with, and the T-Wolves held on to that lead to secure the District 6A-2 championship.

“Austin did what he always does,” coach Brian Aylor said. “He was very dominant and closed out the game for us.

North jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, helped by leadoff hitter Luke Jones, who went on to finish 3 for 3 and stole two bases. But Westmoore fought back with a two-home run in the second before threatening more in the fifth inning.

After a walk and two fielding errors, the Jaguars had the bases loaded with two outs. Kinsey hit a batter in the foot to bring in the tying run before giving way to Cranford, who earned a strikeout to escape the jam. That set the stage for Carter’s single that brought in DJ Gasso, who had walked and advanced to third on a passed ball and a stolen base.

North is guaranteed to host a regional next weekend, and the win ensured the T-Wolves would avoid the same fate they faced a season ago when they lost both the district title and a chance to host a regional with a bad stretch run.

“Last season we kind of folded down the stretch and weren’t able to host a regional,” Aylor said. “For this to be the second year of districts in 6A, I’m very proud of our coaching staff and players and all that they’ve accomplished this year.”

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