Huskies take 2nd at tourney

Mike ErwinJ-C Sports Writer

SOUTH COFFEYVILLE — The PHS Huskies baseball squad overcame a lot of distractions to claim runnerup honors at last week’s Oklahoma Union Baseball Tournament.

When the tourney wrapped up late Saturday night, Pawhuska’s active roster was down to just nine active players. The fact that they reached the finals by winning three in a row over quality teams proved more about the Huskies than all the CRT or OSTP tests in the Twin Territories.

PHS’s pitching triumvirate of senior Gage Dagenais, junior Caleb Bruce and freshman Randsom Jones each shined in individual winning performance — then the three (joined by sophomore Braydon Wilson) patched together a four-inning scare against Oklahoma Class 2A’s No. 11-ranked Caney Valley Trojans in the finals.

Coach Brian Edwards’ Huskies are now 11-9 on the year, with their next game set Friday at Shidler. Next Monday, PHS will host Blackwell in a 5 p.m. contest before travelling to Newkirk on Tuesday.

The Pawhuska junior high Huskies also brought awards home from the tourney. After falling in the semifinals, the Junior Huskies shelled five over-the-wall home runs (two each by Cade McNeil and Ryan Jones and a monstrous solo blast by Gabe Letzkus) in a 11-5 victory over Afton.

Jones spun the three-hit shutout to get the Huskie varsity past Mounds, 8-0, in Thursday’s opener. Eight PHS hits included two each by Dagenais and Hayden Henley. Henley’s two-run single in the first brought home Jones, who reached on a two-out error, and Dagenais, who had doubled.

The Huskies added another run in the second, when Price Perrier singled home Bruce, and two more in the third off a Dagenais double and singles by Jones and Henley.

In Thursday’s late contest, PHS scored four times in the third and added three in the six to escape the tournament host Cougars, 8-7. Dagenais pitched all seven innings to pick up the “W.” Oklahoma Union charged to a lead before Bruce belted a game-tying two-run homes in the third. Dagenais had doubles in the third and sixth innings, driving in two. On the mound, the strongarmed senior struck out 11.

PHS secured the championship berth with a gutsy Saturday victory over the Chelsea Dragons. Bruce was unyielding on the hill and also produced the game-winning hit in the bonus eighth inning. After a questionable call allowed the Dragons to tie the score in the top of the seventh, sophomore Dalton Lough rapped a two-out, opposite field single to keep the Huskies alive in the home half of the eighth. Bruce knocked home Lough by lining a triple into the right-center field gap.

The two squads banged out 17 hits between them, which included six for extra bases. They traded the lead nine times in the game. Bruce struck out seven and walked two. Dagenais collected an RBI double and freshman Price Perrier continued to wield a hot bat with a run-scoring single.

As if four tournament games were not enough, the Huskies also hosted Sperry on Friday. Result: a 15-4 decision that will not be described here, other than to mention Brycen Swan hurled two scoreless innings and Wilson ripped an RBI double.