LONE GROVE — Jake Patterson was all smiles as he walked to the dugout following Tuesday night's first game.
Rightfully so, as the American National Bank Ardmore Cardinals (10-12) scored four runs in the bottom of the first to cruise to a 5-3 victory over Asher in the first of two games at Lone Grove High School.
Patterson (Kingston) pitched a complete game and struck out four, but more importantly, finally got some early run support.
"I thought I pitched alright," said Patterson. "I can be better, but it definitely made me feel more relaxed and more confident in myself. I was able to work my pitches better today and throw strikes. When you do that, you have faith in your defense and let them do the work."
After getting out of a jam in the top of the first, Patterson watched his offense get right to work.
After a leadoff walk by Hunter Stephens (Silo) and an RBI double by Scott Brinkley (Tushka) in the first two batters, Chase Crites (Murray State/Caney) blasted a solo homer over the left field wall to extend the lead to 3-0.
Gage Goff (Rose State/Madill) followed Crites with a walk and was moved to third on a bloop single from Alec Hetherington (Seminole State/Davis) — all with no outs.
Patterson would get his chance to help his own cause, as he flied out to left field but drove in Goff on the sac fly, putting Ardmore in front 4-0.
"Jake has pitched really well for us this summer," said Cardinals head coach Bubba Tamez. "He threw his third complete game of the summer and was really hitting his spots tonight. He was huge for us and made some great pitches."
Ardmore would add another run in the second, after a leadoff double from Stephens, who would score on a sacrifice by Crites and extend the lead to 5-0.
Asher scored one run in the fourth and hit two solo home run in the sixth, but Patterson remained in control throughout, including getting out of jams in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings.
"I left a couple of pitches up and they made me pay for them," Patterson said. "But I was able to regroup and get myself out of trouble."
Crites finished 1-for-2 with the homer and two RBIs. Brinkley and Goff also finished 1-for-2 and each scored a run.
Cardinals drop second game 8-5
The Cardinals fell behind early and only managed two hits, falling to Asher 8-5 in the second game of the doubleheader Tuesday night at Lone Grove High School.
After falling behind 5-0 through three innings, the Cardinals (10-13) finally got on the board with a sacrifice ground ball by Crites, scoring Stephens, who opened the inning with a leadoff walk.
After Asher added three more runs to take an 8-1 in the top of the fifth, the Cards responded in the bottom half, as Stephens blasted a grand slam to bring Ardmore within three runs.
However, it's as close as Ardmore got after going hitless in the sixth and seventh innings.
"Hunter was huge for us in the second game," Tamez said. "He was big for us at the plate, obviously with the grand slam, and he came in to pitch the fifth, sixth and seventh innings. He did a great job tonight."
Garrett Edwards (Hillsdale College/Ardmore) pitched the first four innings before Stephens came on to finish the game.
Newcomer Jared Hayes (Kingston) had the only other hit for Ardmore.
Follow Carter on Twitter: @wcarterARD