STERLING – It was a short stay at the Class B District Tournament for the Ryan Cowboy baseball squad, but it came as no surprise as the Cowboys closed out the season at 0-11 – the first known winless season in school history.
Last Thursday the Cowboys were pounded by Sterling, 15-0, in the first game of the tourney and then fell in a heart-breaker to Big Pasture, 5-4, in games played here.
Sterling pitcher Lane Reynolds battled control problems early but settled down to toss a one-hitter for the Tigers.
In the top of the first inning the Cowboys put two runners on via two free passes, but ended the inning without a score.
The Tigers also took advantage of Ryan pitcher Andrew Villerreal’s lack of control in the bottom of the first inning.
After one out, three consecutive Tigers walked. Eventually the Tigers scored four runs on a two-run triple by Matas Puccio and a Cowboy miscue.
The Cowboys got a leadoff walk in the top of the second and Pacen Wiest got the only hit of the game for the Cowboys but a base runner mishap contributed to the Cowboys failing to score in the inning.
Sterling added four more runs in the bottom of the second. A single, a walk and a hit batsman to lead off the inning was followed by a two-run single by Reynolds. A fielder’s choice and another singled scored the other two runs.
Reynolds then settled into a groove for the Tigers and retired seven straight Cowboys.
Sterling padded the lead in the bottom of the third adding five runs to take a 13-0 lead.
The Cowboys tried to extend the game in the top of the fifth when Trey Bryant walked and Gunner Phillips was hit by a pitch, but the Cowboys could not come up with the key hit.
In the second game with Big Pasture, the Rangers opened the contest with a walk, a stolen base, a wild pitch and a passed ball to score one run.
The Cowboys quickly took the lead in the bottom of the first inning when Travis Fristoe led off with a double and after one out, Grayson Tomberlin launched a bomb over the left field fence to give the Cowboys a 2-1 lead.
The Cowboys added another run in the bottom of the fourth inning. Fristoe’s two-out single and two errors on the play helped the Cowboys get a run to extend the lead to 3-1.
That came after the first of two lightning delays.
In the top of the sixth inning after the second lightning delay and a brief rain shower, the Rangers mounted a three-run uprising to seize the lead at 4-3. Two errors, two singles, a hit batsman and three stolen bases produced the three runs.
In the bottom of the sixth inning the Cowboys tied the game. Carson Cooper led off with a walk and Wiest was hit by a pitch. Cooper was later thrown out trying to steal third.
An error put Fristoe on base and Wiest scored on a fielder’s choice by Phillips.
A pair of strikeouts ended the inning as the Cowboys left three runners on base. Ryan stranded 11 runners throughout the contest.
In the top of the seventh, the Rangers scored as Harley Clem led off with a single and scored on Caleb Thompson’s double. This turned out to be the winning run for the Rangers.
In the bottom of the inning, Skyler Wickware led off with a single and eventually stole second, but the next three Ryan batters went down on strikes and the game ended.
Tomberlin, who pitched effectively through most of the game, took the loss for the Cowboys. He finished with 11 strikeouts and allowed only three hits.
Tomberlin and Fristoe led the Cowboys at the plate as each had two hits. Tomberlin finished with two runs batted in.
Sterling came back to win the district title with a pair of wins over Big Pasture. The Tigers defeated the Rangers, 15-0, on Thursday and then secured the district crown last Friday with another 15-0 victory.
SEASON-ENDING NOTES: The home run by Tomberlin was his first of the season and the only home run hit this season by a Cowboy….Three Big Pasture pitchers struck out 12 Cowboys during the game – the third most strikeouts by a Cowboy team in a single game in school history…The Cowboys have now lost eight straight district tournament games to seven different teams….The Cowboys were directed by Tony Roberts and he was the third coach in three seasons for the Cowboy nine….The 11 strikeouts by Tomberlin ties for the fifth most in school history behind Coby Martin’s 16 strikeouts in a 10-inning contest against Ringling in 2010, Jason Smith’s 13 strikeouts against Byers, Texas in 1994 and Preston McCarty’s and Denver Overstreet’s 12 strike outs in 1949 and 2011, respectively….The 11 games played is the fewest number of games played since 1961 when Ryan finished 6-2 on the season….The 2019 campaign was marred by inclement weather and play eligibility problems….In an earlier game against Waurika where the Eagles mauled the Cowboys, 35-1, three school records were broken….The 35 runs by the Eagles are the most ever by an opponent breaking the old mark of 28 set by Tipton in a 1952 regional tournament game….The 31 earned runs in the game is a new school mark for most earned runs allowed…Waurika collected 23 hits in the game breaking the old record of 22 hits by Whitesboro in a regional tourney game in 2011.