, Muskogee, OK


April 25, 2014

Tigers sweep way into own tournament finals

FORT GIBSON — The Poteau Pirates seemed to have survived the weather in more than one way on Thursday as they had the Fort Gibson Tigers against the ropes on a damp Thursday in the Fort Gibson Invitational Touranment.

But clutch defense late in the game and a strong fourth inning helped the Tigers advance to the finals with a 3-2 victory.

The Tigers (10-14) were hitless until the fourth inning and trailed 2-0. Tristan Johnson changed that with an RBI double to start off Fort Gibson’s scoring, plating Boo Seward  who walked in his at-bat. Johnson then scored off of Brayden Williams fielder’s choice grounder that forced Bubba Stone at third. Cole Igert then scored Williams on a two out single, to make it a 3-2 game.

Seward was clutch after that point as he faced 10 batters in three innings, controlling the Pirates (16-12) after allowing the two runs in the first.

“I kept my composure during different situations, and that’s something I have been wanting to have. We clicked well as a team and we were hitting behind our defense,” said Seward. “I was glad that we got a lead. I felt confident I could hold it and we did. I felt good. I knew my team would back me up.”

“Boo did a great job pitching. He was a really hitting the spot. He has really been trying to be a pitcher instead of just throwing the ball,” said Fort Gibson head coach Randy Smith. “We performed well behind him, got some hits to hang on. I’m really proud of our guys. I just wish we would’ve scored more so it wasn’t so tight.”

Fort Gibson had a huge opportunity to extend their lead in the sixth inning as they loaded the bases with no outs, but Ben Clutts struck out Connor Harding for the first out, then forced Stone out at home on Igert’s grounder to second. The Pirates finished the inning when Igert was forced out on Markie Carman’s grounder to second.

“We have had that trouble before with the bases loaded but this is the time of year you want to start playing well,” said Smith. “But I am glad we have gotten two wins in a row. We haven’t done that much this year. Overall we are pitching well and starting to hit well when we need hits. That’s what you have got to ask for.”

Fort Gibson, which beat Victory Christian 12-0 earlier in the day, advances to the finals where they will face the survivor of today’s bracket. Wagoner plays Sequoyah Claremore at noon and Stilwell faces Sperry at 2:30 p.m. The winners face later in the evening.

Hilldale beat Victory Christian 9-0 after losing to Poteau 4-3 earlier in the day. The Conquerors committed seven errors and walked 13 batters. Hilldale (10-12) will play the consolation final on Saturday at 3 p.m.

Nathan Frisby, who took over coaching while head coach Darren Riddle was absent from the game due to a funeral of a family friend, was pleased with his team’s discipline at the plate as they came away with six full-count walks in the game.

“Our boys were smart and disciplined at the plate and didn’t swing at bad pitches,” said Frisby. “They did a good job of not going out of the zone. Early on in the season we didn’t do that.”

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