It was a wild district tournament for the Waurika Eagles at Central High last Thursday and Friday.
Normally, when a team scores 30 runs in two games they come out on top on both. But, when a team gives up 27 runs, they normally lose both contests.
However, Coach Glenn Howard’s squad went 1-1 in the first two games of the district tourney. The Eagles dropped a 15-5 decision to Empire in the first game of the tourney, but came back to defeat Central High, 25-12, to earn a berth in the district title game.
Empire proved to be too much for the Eagles and hand Waurika a 12-0 defeat to claim the district championship.
Empire will move on to the Class A Regional at Amber-Pocasset today and they were to have met the host school in the first round.
In Friday’s championship game, the Eagles could get nothing going at the plate.
Empire had a 3-0 lead after two innings and struck for six runs in the top of the third. The Bulldogs added two runs in the fourth and another run in the fifth that ended the game after Waurika could not score in the bottom of the fifth.
In the first game of the tourney the Eagles got off to a good start. Zachary Brown got an infield hit with the bases loaded to score a run and give Waurika 1-0 lead after one inning.
The Eagles added two more runs in the top of the second on Hunter Wesberry’s two-run double, but Empire came back with a run in the bottom of the inning leaving Waurika with a 3-1 lead after two innings.
The Eagles added another run in the top of the third as Jordan Watkins led off with a triple and Gatlin Black scratched out an infield hit to score Watkins.
Empire responded with another run in the bottom of the inning, but the Eagles clung to a 4-2 lead after three innings.
In the top of the fourth, Michael Bryant was hit by a pitch and came around to score to put the Eagles in front, 5-2.
Empire knotted the score in the bottom of the fourth with three runs that included a two-run double and an RBI-single.
The wheels came off in the bottom of the sixth inning for the Eagles as Empire exploded for 10 runs to end the game on the run-rule.
The Bulldogs capitalized on four walks by adding eight hits and three stolen bases. The big hits in the inning came on a bases-loaded double and a two-run double.
This set up an elimination game between the Eagles and Central High and it was a wild affair.
Central High picked up six runs in the bottom of the first inning and things looked dismal for the Eagles to advance.
In the top of the third, however, Waurika struck for seven tallies helped along by three walks in the inning – two of those with the bases loaded gave the Eagles their first two runs.
Seth Waid followed with an RBI-single. M. Bryant followed with a bases-loaded walk and Jordan Watkins had a two-run single to cap the uprising.
Central High regained the lead at 8-7 in the bottom of the third with two runs helped along by two walks and an error.
Waurika responded, however, essentially blowing the game open with a six-run uprising.
Kevin Garcia was hit by a pitch, Ben Hernandez walked and Waid followed with a two-run double.
Colton Bryant walked to load the bases and M. Bryant followed with a bases-loaded walk. Brown followed with a two-run single and Watkins belted a two-run double that scored two more to put Waurika ahead, 13-8.
But, the Eagles were far from done as they added seven runs in the top of the fifth. Big hits included Waid’s RBI-single, M. Bryant’s RBI-infield single, Brown’s two-run double and another RBI-single by Watkins.
The Eagles left the bases loaded, but had a commanding 20-8 advantage heading to the bottom of the fifth.
The Bronchos tried to make it interesting with four runs in the fifth including a sacrifice fly and a three-run home run that cut the lead to 20-12.
The Eagles put all hopes of a Central High rally with five more runs in the top of the sixth.
A run-scoring single by Watkins and an RBI-double by Black were followed by a two-run triple by Kevin Garcia. Garcia scored on an error to set the final margin.
Watkins had four hits in the contest that led to four runs batted in. Waid had three hits and three runs batted in and M. Bryant scored four runs and had three runs batted in.
The Eagles had 18 hits in the game.
The victory over the Bronchos ended a five-game losing streak by Waurika in district tournament play.
Waurika closed out the 2017 campaign with a 10-15 mark.
The future is somewhat bright for the Eagles on the diamond as the entire team returns for 2019 with the exception of M. Bryant, who played his final game for the Eagles in the district tournament.
“I was happy with our season,” said coach Glenn Howard on reflected on the season. “The team chemistry was good and I felt like we really started to put things together after spring break.
“Hopefully we can continue that improvement next season with the numbers we have returning,” added Howard, who finished his second year as the head coach of the Eagles.