The Southern Financial Group Ardmore Cardinals ended the summer season Friday in disappointment, falling 10-9 to Three Rivers in the second round of the American Legion State Tournament at Jim Wade Stadium in Oklahoma City.
The Cardinals trailed 8-1 in the sixth before a furious rally over the next three innings gave them the lead heading into the bottom of the ninth. However, a base hit off Ardmore’s Carson McPherson doomed the club to a two-and-out finish.
“We got too far behind, just like the last one,” head coach Jake Melton said. “We got in trouble.”
Cash Miller blasted one final home run to cap off a monster summer, while Chase Crites added a double and Dylan Ward smacked a triple for Ardmore.
C.J. Gregory finished his final start allowing eight runs on 10 hits through just under five innings, while striking out six against three walks.
With the squad finishing the year at 24-17, Melton took some time to reflect back on the summer and the group of young men he had a chance to work with on the baseball diamond.
“Every day, they showed up and you knew they were going to be out there playing the game the right way,” Melton said. “We knew we had a chance to win every day.”
Despite falling short of its goal to reach the American Legion World Series in North Carolina, Melton still felt a great deal of good came out of the season for his players.
“It gets a lot of them ready for the fall and their college careers,” Melton said. “They play against a lot of good players and a lot of good teams to compete against a high level of competition.”
Melton also wanted to thank the Southern Financial Group, and especially Val Wheeler, for its support of the team.
“This wouldn’t be possible without Val Wheeler and the Southern Financial Group’s backing,” Melton said. “We’re able to keep the cost down for the kids more than any other American Legion or Select group in the state because of them.”