EDMOND — A heroic effort by Liam McKinney ended up falling just short for Norman High in a 4-2 loss in their first game of the Deer Creek regional.
The starting pitcher helped lead the Tigers through eight scoreless innings on Friday, before finally giving up his first run in the second extra inning. McKinney gave up his first hit in the fifth, and didn’t allow another until there were two outs in the top of the eighth inning.
Norman High was able to end the eighth without letting a run across, but the Millers’ offense continued to find success in the ninth. Yukon loaded up the bases and scored on a two-RBI single to put the pressure on the Tigers offense to manufacture its first runs of the day.
An error and a walk led the way for a two-RBI double by Max Humphrey to tie the game with one out. Norman North had two more batters reach base, but couldn’t get the winning run across.
The two teams continued their defensive battle until mistakes eventually caught up with the Tigers. Norman High walked a batter with the bases loaded before letting a second run across on a fielder’s choice.
Jack Poarch was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the inning, but the Millers were able to turn a double play to take away any of the Tigers’ momentum.
Both teams finished with five hits, but Norman High had four errors that ended up being costly.
With the loss, the Tigers found themselves in an elimination game against Northwest Classen.
Norman High’s offensive woes didn’t last long, though, as it came away with 15 runs in the first two innings. The Tigers put five across in the third and scored four runs in the fourth inning to win the game 24-2 in five innings.
Norman High had 14 hits as a team in the second game, with five batters coming away with multiple hits. Trace Redwine, Robby Jones and Rylan Schuchman combined to allow three hits and no earned runs with six strikeouts.
The Tigers will have to win three more games in order to advance to the state tournament. They’ll face Yukon again on Saturday at noon.
Defense leads way for T-Wolves in win over Huskies
Jack Bucholz struck out 12 batters and the Norman North defense came through to help the Timberwolves advance to the second day of regionals.
The Timberwolves began the Edmond Santa Fe regional with a 7-1 win over Edmond North before falling to Edmond Santa Fe, 11-4, in the later game.
Brodie Finlay drove in a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning on a ground ball-single that made it into centerfield.
Landon Bruce drove in the next two in the second on a line drive single. Bucholz pitched all seven innings and allowed seven hits, no walks and one run.
The Huskies had runners in scoring position in the fourth and fifth innings, but each time the Timberwolves were able to keep them from scoring. Meanwhile, Norman North’s offense scored two more runs in the fourth to take a 6-0 lead.
Edmond North had seven hits in the game and didn’t score their first run until there were two outs in the seventh inning. The Timberwolves had nine hits as a team, with four of those coming from Bruce.
After going 1-1 on the first day, Norman North will advance to face Edmond North again on Saturday at 4 p.m. The winner will have to knock off the Wolves twice in order to advance to the state tournament.