Strong pitching by Randsom Jones and Caleb Bruce provided the key for the Pawhuska High School Huskies in Thursday’s two-game home sweep of their Class 2A District foes, the Pawnee Black Bears.
PHS won the opener, 7-1, on a two-hitter by Jones. The sophomore lefthander struck out nine batters and walked one in going the seven-inning distance.
Bruce was staked to a comfortable lead before he even took the mound in game two. The senior star capped the Huskies’ nine-run opening explosion by blasting a grand-slam home run over the left center field fence. He added a two-run double in the second inning and finished the district series with 10 runs batted in.
With their upgraded season record of 12-9, the Huskies were informed Monday afternoon that they will be going to Oktaha for the 2A Regional Tournament, which is scheduled to start Thursday with the host Oktaha Tigers (25-4) playing the Wellston Tigers (10-13) at 11 a.m.
At 1 p.m. Thursday, Pawhuska is to play the Haskell Haymakers, who will come with an 18-10 record as a No. 19 ranking.
The winners from the first two games are to face in a 3 p.m. Thursday contest, with the Regional’s two early losers to meet in an elimination game at 5 p.m.
Friday’s tourney schedule lists games at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. If another game is necessary, it would be played Saturday at 1 p.m., officials said.
Since the regional tournaments must be completed by Saturday, game-start times can be changed by mutual agreement although the tournament format may not be changed.
DISTRICT GAME 2
In the second District 2A-30 game with Pawnee, Bruce scattered four hits, while striking out four and walking two.
The Bears were trailing the Huskies, 20-0, when they scored their first run run in the fourth, then added a second on their last at-bat.
Pawhuska hammered 14 hits in Game 2 after collecting eight in the opener. Sophomore Nick Edwards and freshman Cade McNeil both had three hits. McNeil picked up a pair of doubles, while Edwards and Randsom Jones also doubled. Bruce, Payton McCarty and Colton Hindman each hit safely twice.
McCarty — the Huskies’ leadoff batter — knocked in three runs and scored five times. Bruce and Corbin McCarty scored three times, and Braydon Wilson, Edwards and McNeil scored two times apiece. Coltin McCarty had three stolen bases, Payton McCarty stole twice and Hunter Reed swiped one.
DISTRICT GAME 1
A single by senior Colton Hindman put the Huskies on top in the bottom of the first inning in Game 1 of the District series, and that probably would have been all Jones would have needed to notch the win.
PHS added four more runs in the second on Edwards’ single, walks to Reed and Corbin McCarty, an infield single by Payton McCarty and a 3-RBI double by Bruce. Both of the McCartys and Reed scored three times apiece.
Jones threw 86 pitches and 61 of those were strikes. He delivered first-pitch strikes to 16 of the 24 batters he faced. Pawnee batters grounded out nine times, but only flew out once. A floater down the right-field line was chased down and squeezed by freshman outfielder Reed for the the game’s final out.