LARRY LARKIN

Progress Correspondent



Patience is a virtue.

Pitcher Curt Simpson proved it Wednesday night as he and and his Rogers County Rangers teammates upended previously undefeated Bartlesville, 2-1, in American Legion baseball at Claremore's Legion Field.

Simpson just kept throwing and throwing until the Rangers came up with the winning runs in the bottom of the ninth inning.

"I was also hoping and praying we would get some runs," he said. "It took awhile, but they got it done."

Bartlesville, coming into the game with a 10-0 record, jumped to a quick 1-0 lead. Little did anyone at the park know it would be the visitors' only score.

From that point until the end, only zeroes went on the scoreboard.

Down to their last shot, Justin Edwards singled to right to jump-start the Rangers. With Josh Beal batting, a passed ball allowed Edwards to advance to second. When Beal unloaded with a stinger back at pitcher Danny Bender and straight into center field, Edwards raced home with the tying run.

Jeff Bradshaw batted next and was hit by a pitch.

With runners at first and second with no outs, Ranger coach Todd Bingham called for Blake Kelley to bunt and advance both. After letting a pair of pitches go by, Kelley tapped the ball toward third.

The offensive play was letter perfect, only with an added feature.

Third baseman Adam Hibden fielded the bunt cleanly, but his throw to first was wide and rolled to the dugout. Beal easily scored the deciding run.

While Bartlesville used three pitchers, Bingham stuck with his starter all nine innings.

"We talked about it (coming out) in the eighth, but I still felt good and wanted to stay in the game," Simpson said.

The righthander struck out nine while giving up six singles and walking two. He also hit one batter. Two of the hits came in the first and two more in the third. Over the last six innings, Bartlesville was limited to just two more.

Ryan Greer started his first game as a Bartlesville pitcher and held the Rangers in check. He worked five innings before being rerplaced.

For the third straight game, the Ranger defense did not commit an error.

Now 3-1, the Rangers are scheduled to travel to Bartlesville Thursday for a 7 p.m. rematch.



RANGERS 2, BARTLESVILLE 1



Bartlesville 100 000 000 — 1 6 3

Rangers 000 000 002 — 2 6 0

Greer, Dotson (6), Bender (8) and Minton. Simpson and Z.Williams. W — Simpson (1-0). L — Bender.