It’s about that time for the American National Bank Ardmore Cardinals.
After a busy stretch — seven games in only four days — the Cardinals will have one final tune up this weekend before heading to the Oklahoma American Legion Baseball Senior State Tournament July 31-Aug. 4 in Miami, Okla.
Ardmore will host familiar opponent Asher for a doubleheader at Lone Grove Friday evening before traveling north to compete in the eight-team tournament. Teams that will join Ardmore at the state tournament are the Asher Braves, Oklahoma City Bulls, Bartlesville Indians, Miami Wardogs, Southwest Shockers, Midwest City Outlaws and Three Rivers.
“We’re excited to get our guys out there on Friday and get ready to head to the state tournament,” said Ardmore head coach Bubba Tamez. “We’d like for anyone to come out and watch. We are going to be taking donations for our trip to the state tournament and hopefully, we can give everyone some good baseball entertainment.”
The Cardinals wrapped up play at the McKinney tournament over the weekend, finishing 3-2 before splitting a doubleheader Tuesday night in Oklahoma City.
Only a week away from the biggest weekend of the year, Tamez likes where his club is at and is encouraged by recent play.
“We only took 11-12 guys with us during the last week and we finished 3-2,” Tamez said. “Our pitching has been really good and I think our hitting will come around. We’re excited to close out the summer strong.”
Friday night’s doubleheader will start at 6 p.m.
OKC Ambassadors 6 Ardmore Cardinals 1
OKLAHOMA CITY — Ardmore strung out eight hits and walked four times, but could only manage one run as they fell 6-1 to Oklahoma City.
Jake Patterson (Kingston) pitched all seven innings and struck out seven and only walked two. However, of the six runs given up, three were unearned.
“I thought Jake pitched pretty well. He gave us a chance to be in the game, but we just couldn’t get anything going at the plate,” Tamez said. “We were fatigued and were shorthanded with pitchers, plus they are a good ball club.”
Jared Hayes (Kingston), Cade Carter (Colbert) and (Gage Goff (Rose State/Madill) were each 2-for-3 and the lone run came when Devin Hartman (Plainview) scored on a RBI single by Hunter Stephens (Murray State/Silo) in the second inning.
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A big sixth inning and a strong relief effort from Chase Crites (Murray State/Caney) helped Ardmore hold off Oklahoma City 8-6.
After coming on for Stephens — who hadn’t pitched in almost a month — in the third, Crites kept the Bulls at bay until the Cardinals’ bats woke up.
Ardmore scored five runs in the sixth to go ahead of Oklahoma City, thanks to the top of the order. Stephens reached on a hit-by-pitch, Scott Brinkley (Tushka) and Crites both reached on errors, while Goff and Hayes followed with a single and hit-by-pitch, respectively.
“Hunter hadn’t thrown in a while,” Tamez said. “But Chase came in and did a great job throwing strikes. He’s not even a pitcher, but he came in and did the job. We finally got the bats going and scored some runs. We really hit the baseball throughout the lineup.”
Brinkley and Patterson both finished 2-for-3 and the Cardinals drew four walks.