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March 12, 2014

Tigers pull off another late rally

NORMAN — For the second straight day, the Tigers turned in a classic of a baseball game.

Norman High defeated Putnam City 10-9 on Tuesday in nine innings, a day after the Tigers came back with a grand slam in the top of the seventh to send the game into extras, where they defeated the Pirates in 10.

On Tuesday it was freshman Justin Cook who came up with the biggest hit of his young career. With the Tigers trailing 9-8 in the final inning, Cook hit a sacrifice fly to shallow right field that drew Putnam City’s second baseman into an awkward angle in the heavy wind. He slipped after catching the ball, allowing the run score from third and tie up the game.

That sent it into extra innings, where both teams went scoreless until the 10th, when Sam Richison led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch. Paul Reed then bunted him to second, where he stayed until Hunter Meister was also hit by a pitch to load the bases.

That set the stage for Sean Dixson, who had two homers in Monday’s win and came through again on Tuesday. He sent a ball high into the air into right field, where the wind — gusting up to 40 miles per hour — took hold of the ball and sent it swirling on its way down. That was enough to force the costliest of Putnam City’s seven errors when Tanner Pipher dropped the ball and allowed Richison, who also picked up the win in relief, to score the winning run.

“What I like is that we haven’t given up against anyone,” coach Pete Sangirardi said. “I told the kids they’re battling, and that’s all I can ask as a coach. Sam coming in and throwing without much notice, that’s a competitor. He’s grown up so much in the last two years.”

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