Braves win Kansas tourney, preparing to defend PC title

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

BARTLESVILLE — Pawhuska High School players are continuing to help pitch, hit and catch the Bartlesville Braves to summertime success on the baseball diamond.

PHS seniors-to-be Caleb Bruce and Colton Hindman and incoming sophomore Randsom Jones are all members of the team, which is coached by Patrick McCarty. Barndall’s Wesley Yarber, Payton and Corbyn McCarty also play for the Braves, as does Hominy’s Colt Wilson.

On June 11, the Braves snatched first-place honors in a tournament at Garnett, Kan. The United Linen-sponsored club outscored its opponents, 51-4, in winning four tourney games by scores of 15-0, 13-1, 15-3 and 8-0.

Last Friday and Saturday, Bartlesville hosted the Ada Braves for a four-game series at Doenges Memorial Stadium.

The home team claimed the opener, 7-5. Pawhuska’s Bruce singled and scored to break a 2-2 tie in the fifth, as the B’ville squad took a 4-2 lead. Bruce also was in the middle of a three-run rally in the sixth inning, when the Braves’ padded their advantage. With the bases loaded and no outs, Bruce delivered an RBI single. He ended up scoring the run that gave Bartlesville a five-run edge, 7-2. Those extra runs proved crucial as Ada scored three times in the seventh.

Hindman was the starting pitcher of Game Two for the homestanding Braves. The hosts took an early lead, 1-0, on a double by Wilson, a sacrifice bunt and an RBI single by Bruce. Righthander Hindman started lasted into the third, when Hominy’s Wilson took over on the mound. Lefthander Jones finished up.

While errors doomed Bartlesville’s squad to a 10-4 loss in Friday’s late contest, it was misfortune that strapped the locals with a loss in the early game Saturday. The host Braves outhit Ada, five to four, but were left trailing on the scoreboard, 3-0.

Bartlesville also came up short, 4-2, in Saturday’s second game. Jones slugged a triple and Bruce belted a double to highlight the Braves’ attack.

This coming weekend, the Braves will be defending a championship they won last summer at the Ponca City tournament. After that, the Bartlesville squad is looking to contend for the state’s Class 3A American Legion Baseball crown.