Ardmore battled for three scoreless innings before Byng’s bats came alive to deal the Tigers a 12-0 run-rule loss on Friday in their home opener.
Byng starter Shawn Treat struck out nine Tigers in the winning effort.
Sam Chandler was the Tigers ‘starter and induced pop flys and grounders for most of the game until the Pirates posted nine runs in the sixth inning.
“We’ve been like a bad racehorse these first three games,” Ardmore coach Will Trisicani said. “We’re fast out of the gate. We played really well those first five innings. Then we just kind of die at the end. We’re not putting seven innings together and it’s hurting us. It’s not our pitching staff. It’s just making timely plays defensively and not sitting on leads.”
The Tigers host district foe Altus on Monday in a doubleheader knowing they will need to play better after the 0-3 start to the season.
“We’re just going to have to get better,” Trisciani said. “I think we will. We’ve got four big district games coming up over spring break. The kids are really excited about that. Those are what counts. Every game counts, you want to win every game. But we’re just concerned about getting better every inning and every pitch. As long as that’s happening, once we put seven innings together, we’re going to be a pretty good team.”
Byng struck first in the top of the fourth inning when Reid Wall was hit by a pitch. Wall stole second during the next at bat and was brought home on a Gage Wall line drive to left field.
The Pirates added two more in the fifth.
Zeek Lumley smacked a double off the left field wall and a pinch runner stole third during the next at bat. A hard hit grounder past second by Darian Davis scored the runner at third.
A walk with one out loaded the bases for Byng and a sacrifice pop fly by Reid Wall brought home a run for a 3-0 Byng lead.
A combination of fielding mistakes and big hit hits allowed Byng to load the bases twice in a nine-run sixth inning that put the game out of reach for the Tigers.
Chris Garcia struck out and Bodee Coffman gave the Tigers a glimmer of hope after being hit by a pitch in the bottom of the sixth. But, Chris Hall hit into a double play to end the game by run rule.
The slow start doesn’t concern Trisciani, but Monday and Thursday’s district double headers will give the Tigers a glimpse out how they’ve progressed.
“We’ve been ahead in two of the three ball games we’ve played,” he said. “We’ve been in every game we’ve played, we just can’t finish right now.”
The Altus doubleheader starts at 1 p.m. Monday, weather permitting, and the Tigers travel to Carl Albert on Thursday.
“(Altus) is always an unknown since they’re so far out west of us,” Trisciani said. “It’s always a good ball game with them. We’ve split with them the last two years in district play. We’ve always finished before them or right there with them in district. It’s a chance for us two win two district ball games, if we play the way we can, and go from there. It only gets tougher for us, because you go play No. 1 (Carl Albert), whose won it the last two years in 5A on Thursday.”