MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

April 24, 2013

Roughers shine in Senior Night shutout

On a senior night that seemed better suited for football than baseball, Muskogee’s pitchers provided enough warmth to keep the defense on their toes and the Roughers’ bats generated enough heat. Combined, they recorded a 5-0 shutout of the 12th-ranked Class 5A Coweta Tigers Tuesday night at Rougher Park.

Senior hurler Tyler Bowden fought the cold wind, weathered an early threat from the Tigers and threw efficiently enough to record the win for the Roughers who are now 12-17 on the season.   Bowden, a Southern Arkansas University signee, tossed five innings, recording three strikouts, while giving up only three hits.  

"The game ball went to Tyler today. We’ve got seven games in an eight day span this week and we thought we could get two or three innings out of him today.  He did a great job of working ahead of the hitters,"  said MHS coach Jeremy Griffin.  "We were able to only use two guys today and that saves a lot of pitching."

The first inning was a little shaky for Bowden.  After inducing the first Tiger batter to strikeout, Bowden appeared to get into trouble with a walk and a pair of singles to load the bases with one out. But Bowden was able to strikeout Tony Holmes and induced Jake Northern to ground out to Cayden Cockle at second to end the threat.

“We all came together and played our baseball today, doing things we’ve been working on all year.  Just pound the strike zone and work ahead of the hitters," said Bowden.  "Our defense worked really well today."

Muskogee was able to find the scoreboard in the third inning when another senior, Garrett Brown, reached base on a walk and stole second base.  Brown scored on a Tiger error after Harris Jones grounded to third and was thrown out at first.  The Tigers tried to double up  Brown at third but the throw sailed wide of the bag, allowing Brown to score.

The Roughers plated two runs each in the fifth and sixth innings.  The fifth inning saw Bowden and Jones reach base on back-to-back hit batsmen.  Ethan Barton hit a grounder to the Tiger shortstop, who tried to turn a double play, but Barton beat out the throw at first as Bowden raced home.  Barton crossed the plate on an RBI single by Trey Gatzman.  

In the home half of the sixth inning, another senior, Taylor Fisher, reached on a single and moved to third on a double by Mitch Sweeney.  Three pitches later, Fisher raced home when  the Tiger pitcher tossed a wild pitch that went to the backstop.  With a 1-1 count, Bowden slapped an RBI single, driving in Sweeney.

Barton relieved Bowden in the sixth inning and was just as efficient as Bowden.  In two innings of work, Barton threw 23 pitches, and collected two strikeouts.  He did give up a triple in the sixth inning but he was able to get the next batter to hit a grounder back to him for the easy out at first.

"There wasn’t any one player that stood out today, I thought as a whole our approach was good, I thought our intensity was good and like I said, I thought Tyler stepped it up on the mound," added coach Griffin.

Barton finished the day for the Roughers going 2-for-4 at the plate with a double and a run scored, while Bowden finished 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored and Gatzman was one for two with a walk and an RBI.

The Roughers return to action on Thursday when they meet up with sixth ranked Union in Tulsa.    

Roughers 5, Collinsville 4

In Monday’s game, Cody Ford, Dakota Morse and Barton combined on a five-hitter. Ford went four innings for the win and Barton got the save. Morse had a three-run double and Ford singled in what proved to be the winning run in the fifth.

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