The Waurika Eagles closed its 2019 baseball season in heart-breaking fashion by dropping the title game of the Class A District Tournament to Rock Creek, 7-6.
Last Thursday on the first day of the tourney the Eagles did manage one win in the tourney opener with a 10-6 victory over Ringling. Rock Creek had already defeated the Blue Devils so the loss to the Eagles eliminated Ringling.
This meant that Waurika or Rock Creek had to win two games to claim the district championship.
Late Thursday, Rock Creek got the first win, 11-3, setting up a championship round on Friday. The Eagles would have had to beat the Mustangs twice to win the tourney.
The Mustangs scored a run in the bottom of the seventh in the 7-6 win to claim the district crown.
Waurika finished the 2019 campaign with a 16-7 record.
In the final game on Friday Rock Creek took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
With the score tied at 4-4 in the bottom of the fifth, the Mustangs took the lead on a two-run home run.
In the top of the seventh, the Eagles fought back to get a pair of runs – one on Jordan Watkins’ sacrifice fly.
The Mustangs scored the winning run in the bottom of the inning to end the Eagles’ season and advance to today’s Class A Regional Tournament.
Hunter Wesberry was 3-for-4 in the game with a triple and two singles. Aaron Nitka finished 2-for-4 with two runs batted in.
Austin Dyer took the loss on the mound as he surrendered eight hits and struck out five in the game.
In Thursday’s nightcap of the tournament the Eagles fell behind early and could not launch a serious threat during the game.
Peyton Fletcher was the starting pitcher for the Eagles, but he gave up six runs on four walks and a hit and did not retire a batter.
The Mustangs made the 6-0 first inning lead stand the rest of the way.
The Eagles only had three hits in the game – one each by Nitka, Watkins and Colton Bryant. Nitka and Jordan each had doubles with Nitka driving in a run with his two-bagger.
In the tournament’s second game on Thursday, Waurika took the lead for good with five runs in the fourth inning.
Waurika had the lead in the second inning when Wesberry picked up a run-scoring double.
The Blue Devils seized the lead in the top of the third inning, but the Eagles came back in the bottom of the third to take the lead in the game for good.
One of the big hits in the inning was Bowden Forsyth’s run-scoring single.
Watkins also doubled to score two runs and a Ringling error produced another run to put Waurika on top, 6-3, after four innings.
The Eagles continued to pad the lead and held off the Blue Devils the rest of the way.
Zac Brown, Forsyth and Watkins each had two hits for the Eagles. Watkins finished 2-for-3 with a double and two runs batted in. Dyer, Fletcher, Wesberry and Forsyth all had doubles in the game.
The Eagles helped produce the 10 runs on the base paths as they stole 10 bases during the game.
Nitka picked up the win on the mound despite giving up six runs of which only two were earned. Nitka struck out nine Blue Devils in four innings of work. Fletcher pitched three innings in relief and recorded the save.
SEASON ENDING NOTES: The 16 wins by Waurika in 2019 is the most by a Eagle baseball squad since the 2012 season when Waurika finished with an 18-7 mark….The 16 wins by coach Joe Allen’s squad is also tied for the eighth most wins since baseball returned to the high school sports menu in 1987 (with four seasons missing final records)….The district tourney runner up finish was the best performance in a district tourney since 2012 when the Eagles last won a district championship in baseball….The 16 wins is the fourth best by a first year coach since 1987.