BROKEN ARROW — The Muskogee Roughers came in to the day needing three wins to make it to the state tournament.
They got one of those wins with an eight-inning 4-3 victory over the Sand Springs Sandites but fell short of their goal in a 5-3 loss to the Broken Arrow Tigers.
The loss ends the Roughers season but it was one of the best seasons for the Roughers since the 2008 team made the state tournament. Muskogee (22-15) passed 20 wins for the first time since 1996.
In the nightcap, Muskogee jumped out to a 1-0 lead on consecutive singles by Bryson Bell, Austin Jones and Dakota Morse with Morse picking up the RBI. Broken Arrow responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first.
But unlike Thursday’s game, when the Roughers’ mentality changed after squandering an early lead in a 10-3 loss, Muskogee did not quit.
“They fought their tails off, they competed and gave them (Broken Arrow) everything they wanted. Our guys competed,” said Muskogee coach Jeremy Griffin.
Ke’Shawn Ballard and Cayden Cockle added two runs in the top of the second. However, the Roughers were never able to plate another run, even though they had their chances. Muskogee left two runners on base in the second, one in the third inning and the bases loaded in the seventh. Broken Arrow added a run each in the second, third and fourth innings. Bell and Austin Jones were both 2-for-3 while Harris Jones was 3-for-4 with an RBI.
Taylor Duncan started for the Roughers against Broken Arrow and went the distance in taking the loss.
“I have mixed emotions, I’m going to miss my seniors, especially Harris (Jones), he taught me so much, but we have a good group coming back,” said Duncan.
In the game against Sand Springs, Tony Horn started for the Roughers and went the distance giving up nine hits and three runs. Horn was also the hero at the plate. His single in the bottom of the eighth inning drove in pinch runner Travon Hughes for the game-winner — Muskogee’s second eight-inning win in the tournament as the Roughers beat Ponca City 3-2.
Austin Jones was 2-for-4 while Horn was 2-for-3 with the RBI. Harris Jones was 1-for-3 and picked up two RBIs.
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