Bartlesville High School’s bats made a remarkable turnaround — in just one day — during Tuesday’s varsity baseball showdown at Sapulpa High School.
But, the Bruins (0-2) still came up one agonizing run shy in a 12-11 loss to the Sapulpa Chieftains.
On Monday at Bill Doenges Memorial Stadium, Bartlesville had spanked just one hit in a 10-0 run-rule loss to Sapulpa.
During Tuesday’s rematch, the Bruin offense exploded for 11 hits — including a pair of doubles by Lukas Rietfors and a double and two singles by Noah Yearout — to threaten to split the series against the Chieftains.
But, Sapulpa rallied with five runs in the bottom of the sixth to grab both the win and the sweep.
Gage Williams crushed a two-run homer and Alan Shibley drove in three runs to energize the Sapulpa attack.
Bruin head coach Spence Rigdon utilized four pitchers to try to handcuff the Chieftains — starter Jakob Hall, John Cone, Rietfors and Grant Yardley.
Sapulpa touched Hall for seven hits and seven runs — but only two of them were earned. He didn’t allow a walk and struck out five batters.
Cone gave up two hits and three runs as the middle reliever, while Rietfors surrendered no hits but gave up two earned runs.
Yardley finished up by not giving up a run while retiring the final two batters.
As a staff, Bartlesville allowed only three walks and rang up eight K’s.
Only seven of Sapulpa’s 12 runs were earned.
Meanwhile, the Bruin offense tried to put its best foot forward — seven different batters contributed at least one hit; the Bruins earned eight walks but went down nine times on strikes.
Yearout, Cone and Rietfors each contributed multiple hits; Rietfors and Hall drove in three runs apiece.
Bartlesville’s hitting brigade chased Sapulpa mound starter Cooper Bailey (6 H, 8 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 5 SO) after three innings.
Sapulpa closer R. Kidd locked down the win by facing only four batters in the top of the seventh. He issued a two-out walk to Cone — to put the potential tying run on base — but then administered a game-ending strikeout to the next hitter.
The Bruins’ offense had burst to life right off the bat — so to speak.
In the top of the first, Yearout singled, advanced on Cone’s double and scored on a passed ball. A few minutes later, Hall reached base on an error that resulted in Cone and Rietfors both scoring to put Bartlesville ahead, 3-0.
The Bruins came away empty in the second inning, but in the third frame Rietfors hammered a double to center that brought home two runs (Yearout and Cone) to make it a 5-2 game.
Hall and Andrew Harden then walked to join Rietfors on the basepath and load the bases. Borg came up next and reached on an error, which allowed Rietfors to come home to make it a 6-2 Bartlesville advantage.
Through four complete innings, Bartlesville led, 11-7, fueled by another RBI double by Rietfors.
But, Sapulpa produced five runs in the bottom of the sixth — the last two on E. Casey’s single and held on for the rugged win.
Bartlesville will be focused on ending the week with a victory when it plays host Friday to Tulsa Washington. The first pitch is set for 5 p.m. at Doenges Stadium.
Spring break this year will be in Florida.