Ardmore will match up against Class 6A Lawton in the first round of the Bo Bowman Tournament in Lawton today, a meeting of teams Ardmore coach Will Trisciani feels confident about no matter who he sends out.
"It's a pretty good matchup for us," Trisciani said Wednesday. "Classes don't really matter to me. Some will say 'they have more kids to pick from,' but when the first pitch is thrown, it's the same for all teams.
Ardmore is one of four non-6A teams in the tournament, joining 5A No. 18 Lawton MacArthur. Cache (4A) and Sterling (A).
Sterling is the No. 2 team in Class A according to OKrankings.com. Other ranked teams in the field include 6A's No. 8 Norman North, No. 10 Midwest City and No. 18 Lawton.
Ardmore heads to the Bo Bowman Tournament after a longtime annual run of playing in the Owasso Nike Pro Nine Tournament.
"It's always good for us to play competition that's either with or above us," Trisciani said. "I think if we just go play, we'll be able to hold our own."
In the first two games of the tournament, Trisciani has slated freshmen Jake Patterson and Bodee Coffman to start, opting to save his more experienced arms for district play against 5A No. 1 Carl Albert on Monday.
Trisicani said Patterson and Coffman are plenty good enough to get the Tigers through the first day at Lawton. Pitching itself hasn't been the problem for Ardmore (6-11), but the defense behind the Tigers has been inconsistent.
Trisciani said the combination of Patterson, Coffman, Donovan Kuykendall and Chris Hall have all had bright spots on the mound in the first half of the season.
"That seems to be our MO right now," Trisciani said of the pitching/defense dynamic. "Our pitchers are giving us great starts. We're getting good outings, we're just not playing very good defense behind us."
If the Tigers win their first game, they'll get the winner of Cache and Midwest City in a 5 p.m. game. Trisciani is hoping that the play over the next two days will be good enough to get the Tigers to the weekend of the double-elimination tournament.
"We make it to Saturday, that's a pretty big win for us," he said.
Follow Horne on Twitter: @ekhorneARD