The Ardmore Tigers picked up their first two wins of the season Tuesday with a doubleheader sweep of the Del City Eagles at Valero Park.
The Tigers struck for three in the third and nine in the fourth to defeat the Eagles 12-1 in the opener in a five-inning, run-rule contest. In the second game, Ardmore’s Chris Hall out-battled Del City’s Cody Johnson on the mound, and the Tigers manufactured three runs in the final two innings to defeat the Eagles 4-1.
Ardmore (2-7) trailed Del City 1-0 in the opener until the bottom of the third when the Tigers broke through for three runs. In the fourth, Ardmore batted around and scored nine runs. The inning was capped off by an inside-the-park home run by Jake Patterson. Patterson got the win to improve to 1-1 on the year. Chris Hall picked up a double in the contest.
Both teams plated one in the first inning of the nightcap. A two-out single to left by Rontrey Burkhalter got things going for the Tigers, serving as visitors in the second game. After Burkhalter stole second and third, he took home on an infield error.
Del City (0-8) got its only run of the game against Chris Hall, the Tiger starter, in the bottom of the frame. An infield single by Cody Johnson got things started, and Hall hit Del City’s D.J. Hall to put runners at first and second. A two-out infield error allowed Johnson to race home to knot the game at 1-1.
The next four frames turned into a pitcher’s duel with Hall and Johnson, the Eagle starter, not giving up much. But in the top of the sixth, Ardmore took the lead when Patterson singled and stole second and third. Hall walked with two outs, putting runners at the corners. A classic double-steal maneuver by the Tigers ultimately allowed Patterson to steal home for a 2-1 Ardmore lead.
“We hit the ball pretty well in the first game, and we actually played good defense in both games,” Ardmore coach Will Trisciani said. “In the first game we did a solid job of putting the ball in play and putting pressure on their defense to make plays. It was a good pitching performance by Jake that kept them off the board except for the one run. And that allowed our bats to get cranked up.
“We had a bit of a let-down in the second game, however. Sometimes when you play a team twice and you have a great first game against them, you tend to let down in the second game. We can’t allow that to happen. We don’t need to take anything for granted out there. We need to play well from start to finish and put things away when we have opportunities to do so. We got another good outing on the mound by Chris in the second game. We had two pretty solid pitching performances tonight.”
Ardmore took advantage of a tired Del City starter in the seventh to add two insurance runs. Johnson walked Jared Hall, Patterson and Burkhalter to load the bases with two outs. Chance Whaley came on in relief for the Eagles.
Both Hall and Patterson raced home on wild pitches to give the Tigers a 4-1 lead heading to the bottom of the seventh.
Sammy Chandler came on in relief and retired the Eagles without allowing a score in the Del City half of the inning.
Hall fanned nine, issued two free passes and allowed four hits with his 82 pitches. He improved to 1-1 with the win. Johnson fell to 0-1 with the loss for Del City.
Chris Hall was two for three at the plate for Ardmore. Patterson was one for two with two runs scored. Jared Hall and Johnathan Kuykendall scored the other two Tiger runs. Johnson was one for four and scored the lone Del City run.
Ardmore and Lone Grove host a tournament starting Thursday and running through Saturday.