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The Daily Ardmoreite
  • Team Oklahoma 4-0 at Heartland Baseball Classic

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  • NORMAN — Oklahoma is showing off its baseball prowess at the Heartland Classic, and James Bowker is in the center of it all.
    Team Oklahoma is off to a 4-0 start after two days of competition. The roster of select players from the state defeated Maryland 3-2 and Ohio 6-5 in close contests on Tuesday before dominating Wednesday with a 13-2 win over Arkansas and a 9-2 victory over Colorado.
    Bowker, a Plainview graduate and Murray State signee, closed the game against Arkansas, retiring the side in the final inning for a 12-2 win Tuesday. The All-Stater also caught against Ohio in a dramatic comeback, and was behind the plate for Oklahoma's win over Colorado.
    In front of what he said were numerous college and professional scouts at Norman High School, Bowker had two hits and two RBIs in two games on Wednesday.
    "We're playing pretty good. We know we have to kick it into gear," said Bowker. "Everybody's really good at what they do."
    Bowker said the best team they've played so far was Ohio, and the Buckeye State has given Team Oklahoma its biggest scare of the tournament thus far. Oklahoma only beat Ohio after rallying from a 5-0 deficit in its last at-bat.
    Bowker drew a walk in the seventh with the bases loaded to drive in the tying run, and Oklahoma scored the winning run on a infield single.
    "It should have been that way the whole game," Bowker said of the critical seventh. "They brought in a new pitcher and we starting hitting him."
    Bowker is the probable starting pitcher tomorrow against Georgia, and will catch the second game of the day against Texas.
    Today's games will determine playoff seeding for Friday and Saturday. Oklahoma plays Georgia at 3:30 p.m. and Texas at 7, with both games at Norman North High School.
    Texas (3-1) enters the final day of pool play one game behind Oklahoma in the standings, while Georgia (2-2) is fourth. The two baseball hotbeds will be arguably the toughest competition Oklahoma has faced thus far.
    "They're pretty comparable to us," Bowker said of the teams Oklahoma has played so far. "But everybody says it's a different caliber of baseball the farther south you go."
    Follow Horne and the Heartland Baseball Classic on Twitter: @ekhorneARD and @heartlandBB
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