Transcript Sports Writer

A high ranking comes with high expectations. Norman North coach Brian Aylor certainly expects a lot from his second-ranked baseball team.

What he doesn't expect is performances like Tuesday's. Playing on their home field, the Timberwolves fell behind early and never could catch up to Midwest City in a 7-5 loss.

North splits the series with the Bombers after taking Monday's game 15-5. Both teams are 1-1.

"This was disappointing," Aylor said. "This was a very poor effort to be ranked where we are. To have so much on the line this year and to have a performance like this, it's inexcusable."

The T-Wolves were down 4-0 before they ever came to the plate. The Bombers jumped on starting pitcher Brian Carter for four runs on four hits in the top of the first. A pair of one-run doubles got Midwest City started, then a two-run triple finished the scoring.

Carter settled down and struck out the side to end the inning. He was replaced by Riley Cummins in the fourth inning.

Carter was a last-minute starter for North. Chris Ellison was to get the nod, but his arm was not 100 percent healthy.

"Ellison was a little tender, so we went with Carter," Aylor said. "He struggled and left the ball up in the strike zone and Midwest City really hammered the ball."

North got a run in the first when Brandon Smith scored on a wild pitch, then cut the lead to 4-3 in the bottom of the second. Jake Damrill scored from third on a double steal, then Cummins brought home Ryan Wondrasek with a single to left.

But another big inning in the fourth gave the Bombers a cushion. Tyler Kilmer doubled off Carter, then Andrew Thigpen reached on an error to set up Daniel Meeley, who cleared the bases with a triple to the corner in right field to give Midwest City a 6-3 lead. Cummins replaced Carter and Tim Flanders flied out to center to score Meeley to make it 7-3.

Smith scored on a wild pitch in the fifth, then Ellison scored on a sacrifice fly by Damrill to cut the lead to 7-5.

While Cummins and the North defense was keeping the Bombers off the bases, the Timberwolves couldn't rally at the plate, going hitless in the final two innings.

Overall, North collected nine hits, but couldn't bring enough runners home, stranding nine.

"We just played poorly in all phases of the game," Aylor said. "We weren't focused. Maybe I did a poor job of preparing them. To be where we want to be, we can't lose at home to a conference team."

Carter led the Timberwolves at the plate with a 3-for-4 effort. The Bombers had 11 hits.

North will host Putnam City North at 4:30 p.m. at Thursday. Aylor dismissed the notion that Tuesday's loss was any type of wake-up call for his team.

"You shouldn't have to get this team's attention," Aylor said. "This is a group of seniors that knows what it takes to win. If we have to have games like this to get their attention, then we're not all on the same page."

NHS now 0-2

Norman High has started its season off in a 0-2 hole, losing to Westmoore 6-4 Tuesday at Tiger Stadium. The Jaguars beat the Tigers Monday at Westmoore.

Westmoore got off to a quick start with three runs in the first inning off starting pitcher Joey Rodriguez. NHS tied the score in the second on a solo homer by Thomas Keith, but gave up another three-run inning in the fifth to fall behind 6-1.

The Tigers cut the lead to 6-3 in the bottom of the fifth with two runs, then NHS got one more in the seventh, to get within two.

Keith led NHS with a 2-for-3 effort.

The Tigers will play at 5 p.m. Thursday at Mustang.

Scott Moore 366-3535 sports@normantranscript.com

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