MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

May 4, 2012

Roughers’ season ends with 11-0 loss

— STILLWATER — It was a rough day for Muskogee in the Class 6A East regional tournament at Couch Park in Stillwater.

The Roughers, facing No. 3-ranked Sand Springs in an elimination game, were routed in an 11-0 run-rule loss to end the season.

The hot bats for the Sandites, which produced 16 hits in all, chased Muskogee starting pitcher Tyler Bowden from the game with two outs recorded in the second inning. Bowden gave up seven runs on eight hits and two walks in just 1.2 innings of work. The MHS starter made way for Gage Hull, who pitched the final 2 1/3 innings.

“I think it would have been harder if we had lost by one run and had made mistakes,” Muskogee coach Doug Gunselman said. “You never want to lose, but they just hit the ball well and proved why they are the No. 3 team in the state and it was as good as anybody has swung against us today.”

The Roughers (12-20) found themselves in trouble before Sand Springs even scored a run when catcher Trey Gatzman appeared to hurt his elbow when throwing to second on a steal attempt by Sand Springs’ second base runner of the first inning. He was replaced behind the plate by Chandler Heath.

“Gatzman caught two games (Wednesday) and tried to catch a third and he’s a warrior and he wanted it, but there comes a point where you just can’t throw any more,” Gunselman said. “You never want to see your clean-up hitter and your catcher go down early. ... But I don’t know if the results would have necessarily changed. Sand Springs was just ready to play today.”

The Roughers had just four baserunners all game and only two runners made it past first base — including Austin Jones, who led off the game with a double but was stranded at third.

“If there’s anything about our team that I’m looking back on that I’ll say we needed to do a better job on, it was offense,” Gunselman said. “We weren’t consistent. Offense is always going to be the thing that stands out when you face good pitching and we faced good pitching this entire tournament.”

The hardest moment of the day for Gunselman, however, came after the game when he had to address his team for the final team as a whole.

“The hardest part is all those seniors leaving. I try not to make eye contact with them, honestly, because it’s so hard,” Gunselman said. “But what we did this year, accomplishing as many wins as we’ve had the past two years, winning a tournament and competing in almost every game is all you want from your kids.”

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