Braves win first two games at tournament in Ponca City

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

The Bartlesville Braves baseball team got off to a great start last week en route to defending its championship in the Ponca City Tournament.

Caleb Bruce of Pawhuska picked up the pitching victory in the Braves’ tourney opener on Wednesday as the Bartlesville American Legion team routed Enid, 9-0. Bruce and reliever Grant Yardley yielded just one hit apiece in combining for the shutout.

“Going into the tournament, I figured Enid would be out main competition for the championship,” Braves’ coach Patrick McCarty said.

Bruce bunted for a single and scored a run in the first inning as the B’ville squad jumped out to a four-run lead.

Pawhuska lefthander Randsom Jones went to the mound to nail down an 8-1 victory over Pond Creek-Hunter on Thursday, when the Braves won their second gamof the tournament. Lukas Rietfors had been the starting pitcher.

The Bartlesville defense turned two double plays and two Pond Creek baserunners were picked off in the contest.

A third Pawhuska player on the Braves’ roster is Colton Hindman. Bruce and Hindman are going to be seniors at PHS and Jones will be a sophomore.

Results from the team’s later games in the tourney should be included in next week’s J-C.

McCarty will be returning to the Pawhuska School District this fall after teaching and coaching the past two years in Barnsdall. McCarty’s two sons — junior-to-be Payton and freshman Corbyn — are also members of the Legion team.

Payton McCarty recently underwent successful surgery on his shoulder and will be out of action for the next few months. Both McCarty boys are expected to transfer back to Pawhuska.