Panthers capture district title

Robert Smith rsmith@pawhuskajournalcapital.com

The Barnsdall Panthers entered this week at 22-9, having won their district Class A baseball tournament and getting ready for regional play on Thursday.

The Panthers had a tune-up game scheduled Monday versus Class B Shidler, which won its district tournament last week and entered this week at 23-6.

Barnsdall Coach Wade Corder said his team has shown poise despite having just one senior.

“They’ve stepped up and played with a lot of confidence,” Corder said. He added that Joe Cole, Michael Marin and Wesley Yarber have pitched well lately.

Cole said showing aggression on the basepaths and working hard to manufacture runs have been important to Barnsdall’s success.

“We just always seem to find runners on base,” he said. The Panthers have been good at getting runners on base early in innings, he said.

“We’re pretty aggressive on the basepaths,” Corder said. “Seven of my nine guys can steal a base at any time.”

Battling back in close games has also been important.

Corder recalled that Barnsdall battled from behind in the second game of its three-game run of victories in the district tournament. The Panthers took games one and three in convincing style from Foyil, by scores of 10-0 and 15-1.

In game two, however, Barnsdall pulled out a 6-5 win over Afton. Corder recalled his team being down by scores of 4-2 and 5-4, and having to keep clawing until they took the lead for good.

“We just kept coming back that next inning and being aggressive and making plays,” he said.

“The kids have bought in and they’re playing hard and having fun,” Corder said.