MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

May 3, 2014

One inning’s work gives Fort Gibson regional ticket

SALLISAW — A day after rallying to force a deciding third game in the 4A district series, Fort Gibson swiped another game away from Sallisaw.

Down 3-0 in the fourth to the Black Diamonds, the Tigers scored five runs. It was the only inning in which they scored but they made it stand, as Fort Gibson held off Sallisaw, 5-4, to win the district series Friday and move on to next week’s 4A regional tournament.

Sallisaw opened the districts Thursday with a 5-0 win. In the second game later in the day, the Black Diamonds led going into the seventh before the Tigers came back to pull it out, 13-12, forcing an extra game Friday to decide the district champion.

“These were two equal teams, we were both pretty equal and I knew that going in, just watching them all year and it’s a shame only one goes out because they’ve got a good quality club and they played hard, but our guys, I just can’t praise them enough for just coming up here,” Fort Gibson coach Randy Smith said.

“It’s hard to come back when you’re down one game, but then after we got back (Thursday) and got the win in the last inning and to be able to hold that team with as much power as they have with the runs like that, I just can’t say enough. We were very fortunate, but very happy also.”

The Diamonds (13-17) got off to a strong start Friday, scoring two runs. They added another run in the top of the fourth to extend their lead to 3-0.

But in the bottom half of the inning, Fort Gibson (14-17) struck. The Tigers scored five runs — all coming with two out — to go in front.

Fort Gibson tied the score at 3-all when Colton Dorris hit a ball which landed just inside the line in shallow right away from the Sallisaw fielders, bringing in two runs. The next batter, Boo Seward, then dropped a single into shallow right center to bring in another run, giving the Tigers the lead.

Later in the inning, Fort Gibson made it 5-3 on Tristan Johnson’s RBI single.

“We were trying to lift it too much early in the game, and then all of a sudden, we went down to it and that helped us out a little more, but I think the main thing was just staying on top of the ball. … We just tried to get back on top and not try to swing for the fence," Smith said.

Sallisaw was able to get within a run in the top of the fifth after Grant Harrison was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Smith then brought in junior Boo Seward to pitch. Seward was able to escape the jam with a strikeout and a flyout to the first two batters he faced, keeping the Tigers in the lead.

In the sixth, the Diamonds got a runner on first with one out but Seward managed to work his way out of trouble again by inducing a double-play ball. Sallisaw got another runner on base with one out in the seventh, but Seward got a flyout and a fielder’s choice grounder to short which ended it.

“We started off slow, we got down 3-0, but we’re a battling team. (Thursday), we got down three runs I think and we came back and tied it up and went ahead," Seward said. "We kept our composure real well and we hit the ball good, and when I came in to pitch, we had bases loaded and one out. I knew I would throw strikes and I knew my team would back me up. … I just got the ball across the plate, did my part, the team backed me up, did their part and we got the win, it feels great.”

Seward also went 3-for-3, including his RBI single in the fourth which proved to be the eventual go-ahead run.

“He threw four innings (Thursday) and then to come back (Friday) and do what he did, plus he hurt himself (Thursday) sliding into first, which we don’t teach that but he slid into first base and hurt his shoulder, but it was not his throwing shoulder, it was the other one," Smith said. "I didn’t know if he would be able to swing the bat (Friday), but he did, he swung it real well and he said, ‘I can pitch any time you need me,’ so that worked.”

Bubba Stone was 2-for-3 as well for the Tigers. The top three hitters in Fort Gibson’s order, Dorris, Seward and Stone, combined to go 6-for-9.

Brayden Williams got the win in relief for the Tigers. He pitched from the third inning into the fifth inning while Fort Gibson took the lead in the fourth.

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