It took the bats a while to warm up Monday in the baseball season home opener for the Pawhuska High School Huskies.
PHS batters knocked in seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to secure their second win of the year with a 13-4 triumph over the Pawnee Black Bears.
Coming off a spring-break "played" vacation to Orange Beach/Gulf Shores, Ala., the Huskies were greeted by arctic-style weather for their twice-delayed home debut. Pawnee stayed within a pair of runs — at 6-4 — until the final offensive explosion by the hosts.
After starting pitcher Chandler Collins held the Black Bears scoreless to start the game, Pawhuska grabbed a 1-0 advantage when leadoff hitter Zalin Edwards singled, stole second and eventually scored on a pair of passed balls. Kylar Moody was left on base following a two-out double for the Huskies.
Pawnee moved in front by pushing two runs across in the second. An inning later, the Huskies tallied twice to regain the lead, 3-2. Hayden Javellas drew an opening walk, stole second and came around on a passed ball to tie the game. Caleb Bruce singled, stole his way to second and later slid home with the go-ahead run.
A Black Bear run in the fourth was answered with a two-spot from the Huskies. Gage Dagenais took the mound for PHS in the top of the inning, then rapped a single after Connor McNeil reached on an error. Both runners eventually crossed the plate to make it 5-3 in favor of the Huskies. Pawhuska matched a lone Pawnee tally in the fifth, with Moody reaching on a walk and scoring on a Bryce Wilson squeeze bunt.
The Huskies put the game away in the seven-run sixth as Javellas smacked a one-out single, which was followed by a walk to Edwards and four consecutive PHS hits off the bats of Tyler Culver, Bruce, Moody and Wilson. Dagenais scored the final run of the contest after reaching off an error.
Collins and Dagenais threw three frames apiece for Pawhuska. Starter Collins struck out four, walked four and yielded four hits. Dagenais gave up just one hit in relief, while fanning one and walking one. Both Huskie hurlers hit a Black Bears’ batter with a pitch. (Home fans were surely warmed a little when the PHS defense reportedly turned a triple play.)
Pawhuska (2-3) is scheduled to return to action Thursday with a 4:30 p.m. junior-varsity game in Bartlesville against a novice squad of Mustangs from Wesleyan Christian School. This is the first year for WCS to field a baseball team.
Coach Brian Edwards and the Huskies will be looking to even their record next Tuesday in a 5 p.m. home matchup with the Blackwell Maroon.