The Ardmore Tigers’ first win of the season was within grasp in the first game of Monday’s district double -header against Altus.
Facing a 5-1 deficit, Altus (4-5) brought five runs across home plate to win.
The Bulldogs carried that momentum into the second game, winning 3-2.
“It’s always a battle with them for some reason, always a one-run or two-run game,” Ardmore coach Will Trisciani said. “We’ll go back to the drawing board this week. We’ve got another tough one on Thursday with a double header at Carl Albert. We’re going to have to play some defense. Again, our pitching does a great job and we let them down in the field. We’re going to have to figure out how to fix that. Once we do that, we’ll be OK.”
The Bulldogs won the second game behind a strong pitching performance from Kasey King. He used an assortment of breaking balls to keep Ardmore’s hitters off balance.
“He had a lot of offspeed stuff and we just were not being disciplined at the plate,” Trisciani said. “When you don’t stay back and have a good approach, bad things are going to happen. We’re out front of everything and hitting everything straight into the ground. It’s real easy to get those outs.”
The Tigers (0-5) are hitting the ball consistently, but have lost four of their first five games by one run.
“Right now I’m not sure what we’re going to do,” Trisciani said. “We’ve got to find a way to end the ballgames there late. The momen
tum from the (game one) loss carried over for them. Don’t take anything away from them, they played a great ballgame to stay in there and fight the way they did.”
The Tigers scored two runs in the first and second innings, and added another in the third for a comfortable 5-1 lead. Two errors proved costly in the loss.
Rontrey Burkhalter had two RBIs, Easton Daniels added two hits and Jake Patterson pitched all seven innings with five strikeouts in the first game.
In the fourth inning of the second game, Burkhalter led off and hustled to beat a throw to first on a grounder between second and third.
Chris Hall brought Burkhalter home on a line drive down the third base foul line that reached the outfield wall.
Altus quickly answered with three runs in the bottom of the inning, aided by two base hits to right field.
With the bases loaded in the fifth, Burkhalter hit an RBI pop fly with one out to cut the Altus lead to 3-2, but Hall hit a fly ball to center field to end the threat.
“We’re still hitting the ball really well right now,” Trisciani said. “The kids are working really hard and it bothers them. They’re not happy with the end result. We’ll just keep working hard this week and see what happens. We’ve got Carl Albert on Thursday and a big week next week. We’re into districts now; we control our own path.”
Ardmore heads to Carl Albert on Thursday for a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.