Claremore Daily Progress


April 11, 2014

BASEBALL: Hillcats celebrate Senior Day on Saturday

Native Texan hurler living out ‘Sandlot Dreams’ in Claremore

CLAREMORE — Straight out of Bedford, Texas, Kyle Duncan always envisioned his collegiate career would be spent pitching in the Big 12 Conference for the Oklahoma State Cowboys.

Duncan, who is one of eight seniors making their final home appearance in a Rogers State University baseball jersey, never got to don the Cowboys uniform inside Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound right-handed pitcher suffered a knee injury in 2011, thus forcing a redshirt season at OSU.

Though, it was a heartbreaker for Duncan, the unfortunate setback turned into a valuable learning experience and a golden opportunity for his Hillcat career.

Duncan elected to transfer to Hill College in Texas for his freshman season, and finesse his fastball under the coaching of Chris Batike.

His journey from Hill College to RSU turned into a ‘dream come true’ for the former Colleyville Heritage All-District performer that helped lead his team to the Class 5A Regional Semifinals and the district title.

Three years ago, Duncan joined an RSU baseball program that was heavily blessed with seasoned talent and competing in the toughest NAIA Division I conference (Sooner Athletic Conference).

In 2012 — his first year on the Hill — Duncan was 8-2 with a 4.01 earned run average and three complete games.

He appeared in 17 games with 13 starts for a Hillcat squad that earned the school’s first-ever NAIA Division I World Series appearance.

In 83 innings pitched that season, Duncan allowed 43 runs (37 earned) on 90 hits with 47 strikeouts and 24 walks.

The opposition hit .281 against Duncan.

That first-year was more than Duncan expected as he teamed with left-handers Shawn Spainhoward and former Owasso Rams All-State standout Brandon Bargas to form a solid arsenal that finished with a 3.81 earned run average and a 49-16 overall record.

During that 2012 season, Duncan and the Hillcats finished No. 2 overall in NAIA Division I and competed in the national championship game.

One year later, in 2013, Duncan continued his memorable journey in Claremore with the highlight of his career taking place inside the Diamond Sports Complex.

Duncan tossed a complete game in the Hillcats’ huge win over perennial powerhouse Lubbock Christian University in the NAIA Opening Round Championship.

The win over LCU guaranteed Duncan and the Hillcats another trip to the NAIA Division I World Series in Lewiston, Idaho.

During the 2013 season, Duncan started 13 of 14 games and finished with a 7-3 overall record as well as a 4.72 earned run average.

In 68.2 innings, Duncan allowed 44 runs (36 earned) on 66 hits with 42 strikeouts and 28 walks.

The flame-throwing Texan only allowed two homeruns on the season, and the opposition was .244 at the plate.

The Hillcats capped the 2013 season with a 36-24 record and were 15-13 in the Sooner Athletic Conference.

And, now in his senior year, Duncan and the Hillcats are in a provisional period of transition into NCAA Division II.

Though, Duncan is unable to earn another post-season trip, he has formed plenty of memories on the mound at RSU.

Duncan started RSU’s first Heartland Conference home game against Arkansas-Fort Smith and came away with a no-decision. The Hillcats did, however, get the victory with an impressive rally late in the game.

He’s also help anchor a young squad built mostly with high school freshmen.

In their first Heartland Conference season, the Hillcats are 6-15 overall.

For Duncan, though, crossing the Red River into Oklahoma helped this Native Texan fulfill those ‘Sandlot Dreams’ in Claremore.


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  • DSC_0344web.jpg ‘Lucky 7’ comes through in the 3rd

    Over the course of his four-year baseball career at Verdigris High School, third baseman Ryan Skalnik has had his share of memorable at-bats.
    None more important than Tuesday’s appearance in the Large School East-West All-State Game at J.L. Johnson Stadium in Tulsa.
    Skalnik, who was the lone senior this season for Verdigris and a four-time Class 3A state champion, thrived under pressure in the top of the third inning for the East.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • BASEBALL: Larue, Skalnik power East to 3-0 victory

    The East blanked the West 3-0 in the Large School All-State Baseball Game Tuesday night at J. L. Johnson Stadium on the campus of Oral Roberts University.
    Claremore catcher Matt Whatley and third baseman Ryan Skalnik of Verdigris represented Rogers County in the contest.
    Skalnik finished 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI's.  Whatley was 0-for-1 with a walk.

    July 30, 2014

  • FISHFRYweb.jpg Claremore QB Club holds Fish Fry Aug. 2

    The Claremore Zebra Quarterback Club will hold its annual Fish Fry fundraiser on Aug. 2 at the Claremore High School cafeteria.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • RSU places 77 student-athletes on Heartland Conference Academic All-Conference Honor Roll

    The Heartland Conference announced that more than 1000 student-athletes from its 12 member institutions landed a spot on the Academic All-Conference honor roll, including 77 from Rogers State.
    The Hillcats had 33 student-athletes named to the President's Honor Roll while 44 earned Commissioner's Honor Roll recognition.

    July 31, 2014

  • Indoor football coming back to Enid?

     Is Enid ready to give professional arena football another try? Oklahoma City businessman Antwone Taulton and Enid Enforcers owner Mark Timberlake think so, and are in the early stages of a plan they hope will see the return of arena football in 2015 to Enid after an absence of more than 10 years. And if things progress as one league executive expects, an official announcement could be forthcoming in the near future.

    July 31, 2014

  • OU holds Mixon out of practice, investigation continues

    Preseason practice begins for Oklahoma today, but freshman running back Joe Mixon will not be there, the school announced Wednesday night.

    The university, in its statement, said “Joe Mixon is not reporting for team activities at this time. We will continue to monitor the situation.”

    July 31, 2014

  • Ticket options available for Arkansas women's basketball

    The excitement surrounding head coach Jimmy Dykes and the 2014-15 University of Arkansas women’s basketball season is building every day in Northwest Arkansas.

    As the excitement builds, the Razorback Ticket Center has announced the availability of women’s basketball season ticket plans including several new options for this season.  Tickets go on sale beginning today and can be purchased online at or by calling the Razorback Ticket Center at 800-982-4647.  Current season ticket holders will receive renewal forms in the mail the first week of August.

    July 31, 2014

  • Ex-OSU baseball players Oliver, Hague on new paths in All-Star season

    Matt Hague has transitioned to being a power hitter and Andy Oliver has evolved into a shutdown closer.

    The former Oklahoma State players were both named International League All-Stars after reinventing themselves this season with the Indianapolis Indians, the Triple-A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    July 31, 2014

  • Ex-Sooner Courtney Paris finding niche with Shock

    It looked like it came easily to Courtney Paris. The minute she stepped foot on the campus at the University of Oklahoma in 2005, it seemed she was already an All-American and destroying the competition in the Big 12 and across the nation.

    July 31, 2014

  • MLB: Keuchel tosses 4-hitter, Astros roll past A's

    In at least one category, Dallas Keuchel is Clayton Kershaw's equal. For at least one three-game series, Houston was better than Oakland.

    Keuchel pitched a four-hitter and Robbie Grossman homered to cap a six-run first inning that sent the Astros past the Athletics 8-1 Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014