It was another solid outing for the American National Bank Ardmore Cardinals Wednesday, as they split their opening round games of the South Plains Classic in Midwest City.
Ardmore (8-10) lost the morning contest to the Oklahoma City Bulls 4-3 but rebounded with a dramatic, come-from-behind win over the Southwest Shockers 9-7 in the afternoon game.
In the later game, trailing 7-5 in the eighth inning, Ardmore tied the game with a two-out rally on an RBI double from pinch-hitter Devin Hartman (Plainview).
The Cardinals would add a single by ensuing batter Andrew Bolin (Silo) before fellow teammate Hunter Stephens (Silo), who entered the game at pitcher the inning before, blasted a three-run, walk off homer to win 9-7.
"It was great for the guys. Hunter and Andrew scored six of the nine runs for us, both had huge days and we were able to come away with the win," said Cardinals coach Bubba Tamez.
Stephens was 3-for-5 with two singles, the three-run bomb and three RBIs, while Bolin went 3-for-4 at the plate with two singles and a triple.
Donovan Kuykendall (Ardmore) worked 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball, before giving way to Garrett Edwards (Hillsdale College/Ardmore). Stephens followed and picked up the win.
"We played pretty well," Tamez said. "We were good defensively and for the most part, pitched pretty well. We got ourselves into some binds that hurt us, but we battled back and showed a lot of bright spots."
In the first game, Ardmore led 3-1 after four innings thanks to solid work on the mound by Jake Patterson (Kingston) and two RBIs from newcomer Travis Hallum (Marietta).
However, Patterson and Ardmore would run into trouble in the fifth.
After a walk by the leadoff hitter, the Bulls were able to string together two singles, a fielder's choice and a walk, scoring two runs and knotting the game at 3-3. Oklahoma City added another run in the sixth; something the Cardinals couldn't match, as Ardmore fell 4-3.
Patterson pitched seven innings, striking out five Bulls' batters.
"Jake was really good," said Tamez. "He cruised through the first four innings and then ran into some tough breaks in the fifth. He's given us two really good outings in a row, working his fastball and off-speed stuff better than he has all summer."
Bolin was 3-for-3 with three singles, Stephens was 2-for-3 with two singles and Hallum, who batted in the ninth spot, was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
"Travis has been great for us," said Tamez. "We were shorthanded and we brought him on to give our other catchers some relief, but he's been one of our better hitters since he started playing. He has a great approach and has been swinging the bat well lately."
The Cardinals continues play this afternoon when they face Pueblo (Colo.) at 3:15 p.m. at Midwest City High School.
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