Note: Following is a summer feature looking at some of the top 40 games for the Doenges Ford Injuns/Indians during the past 50 years.


By Mike Tupa


mtupa@examiner-enterprise.com


Memphis here we come!


That was the rallying cry for the Bartlesville Doenges Ford Injuns following an explosive victory on Aug. 15, 1978.


But, the game never witnessed the final official out.


Bartlesville and Oklahoma City Reynolds clashed at Bartlesville Municipal Athletic Field that date for the Oklahoma American Legion state championship.


The winner advanced to the American Legion Mid-South Regional in Tennessee.


Reynolds — which had stunned the Injuns earlier in the tournament, 4-1 — never had a prayer to make the trip.


Energized by Stan Baughn’s wickedly-hot bat — he blasted a triple and two singles in this game — the Injuns ripped Reynolds to shreds, 9-0.


But, according to the article in the E-E, Reynolds quit in the top of the ninth after its manager told plate umpire Bobby Hunt he had ran out of pitching after one of his pitchers had been ejected hitting a third batter.


That hurler was the fourth utilized in the game by Reynolds.


Despite protests by his own team, according to the E-E reporter, the Reynolds manager stood firm and the game halted shy of regulation.


The abrupt ending deprived the hundreds of Indian fans — who helped fill the seats to overflowing — of some of the drama of a game-ending third out in the historic win.


But, with a 9-0 lead and total grasp of the momentum, it appeared the Doenges lads already had clinched the team’s third state championship in nine seasons — the other two earned in 1969 and 1976.


Of course no Indian aficionado could have known then the program would go on a state championship title drought had has lasted 40 seasons.


That’s one of the reasons this wash-out against Reynolds is so significant.


The lopsided contest got downright painful toward the end for the gritty Indians.


In the eighth inning, Doenges star player Rick Johnson was one of the Indians used for a human backstop.


Mike Yearout — who would be named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player — pitched the first five innings against Reynolds. Jeff Wallingford took his place and finished up the shutout.


Brian Allison smashed a solo homer to help fuel the Indians’ attack.


Baughn — who had already committed to play baseball at Oklahoma State — smashed 13 hits in 23 at bats in the tourney.


Tug Baughn served as the Injuns’ head coach, with Bob Korthase and Carl Brooks as his assistants.