Huskies need redemption as tourney opens

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
Huskies need redemption as tourney opens

The Pawhuska High School baseball team had hoped to end a week-long losing streak in its Monday road game with the undefeated Shidler Tigers.

Instead, the Huskies ran straight into a righthanded buzz saw named Austin French. French pitched a no-hitter for the Tigers and struck out 17 of the 21 Pawhuska batters he faced.

Gage Dagenais had a strong mound outing for PHS. The sophomore scattered seven hits, while striking out eight.

Shidler notched one run in the second, two in the third and another in the sixth against coach Brian Edward’s PHS squad. With their fourth consecutive shutout triumph, the Tigers — who are No. 13 in the Class B rankings — recorded victory No. 13 of the season.

French fanned every Huskie except Hayden Javellas, who opened the game with a popout and grounded out in his other two plate appearances. The speedy Javellas nearly broke up French’s no-no in the top of the fourth inning when he was out by only half a step on a throw by Tiger shortstop Tanner Reed.

Four Pawhuska batters reached base — all on walks by French. A Huskie runner was left aboard in each of the last four innings.

The defeat at Gotham Field marked the fifth straight loss for Pawhuska (3-9), which had started last week with a 10-2 triumph over Woodland. Before heading off for four away games in the next five days, the Huskies were dealt a Tuesday home loss, 7-3, by visiting Sperry Pirates — the undefeated (10-0) No. 6-ranked team in Class 3A.

Road contests started Thursday at Newkirk, where seven Huskie errors precipitated a seven-run second inning for the hosts and led to a 9-0 Tiger victory. At Dewey on Friday, the Bulldoggers scored seven times in the home half of the first and added seven more runs in the fourth to eventually claim a 15-3 win.

The Huskies plated three runs in the final inning against the Doggers — who were last year’s Class 4A state runnersup. Jonathon Moody started the late rally with an infield single and Brycen Swan reached on an grounder before senior Hayden Javellas beat out a roller that brought Pawhuska’s initial run.

PHS sophomore Caleb Bruce continued the final inning at Dewey by rocket-launching a two-RBI single into left field that brought home Swan and Javellas.

In a Saturday contest at Hominy, the Huskies lost, 13-5, to the 2A Bucks.

Pawhuska’s High School Baseball Tournament starts at 2 p.m. Thursday at the the 15th Street diamond. The five other teams in the three-day event include recent Huskie opponents Shidler, Hominy and Newkirk, as well as the Pawnee Black Bears and the Cleveland Tigers’ junior varsity.

The tourney squads are to be divided into two pools, with action continuing Friday and through Saturday’s championship round.

JR. HUSKIES TAKE 2ND PLACE

Last week’s Pawhuska Junior High Baseball Tournament saw the host Huskies’ seventh- and eighth-grade team win four straight before falling to the Dewey Doggers in the championship game.

Hard-throwing Dewey pitcher Gunner Bankston struck out 11 on the way to getting a four-hit, 4-0 shutout in the title game. Before nailing down the last three outs in the bottom of the fifth, Bankston also smacked a two-run homer which concluded the Dogger scoring.

Seven Pawhuska baserunners were stranded over the first three innings. Ransom Jones had a pair of singles for the Huskies. His leadoff single in the third broke up a no-hitter for Bankston, who had recorded the first nine outs via strikeouts.

The Huskies advanced to the championship game after Ransom Jones hurled a no-hitter over Tonkawa on Saturday afternoon. Pawhuska won that contest, 1-0, as Jones struck out nine and allowed only two runners to reach base. The crafty lefthander hit one batter and another reached base on an error.

Dale Jackson scored the lone run of the contest after lining a double into left to lead off the second. He advanced to third on a single by Ryan Jones and was knocked hom by Huskie first baseman Kash Perrier.

Pawhuska’s squad was coached by Mike Stroud and assistant Monty Brewster, with high school head coach Edwards also providing support.

Ten teams were entered in the three-day event. Dewey defeated Barnsdall to earn a spot in the championship game. Other participating schools included Blackwell, Shidler, Newkirk, Oklahoma Union, Copan and Foyil.