Claremore Daily Progress

May 9, 2014

Cards fly into 3A Regional Finals

Hammerin' Hammack blasts 2 HRs against Pawhuska

GLENN HIBDON
Sports Writer

VERDIGRIS — There was only one fantastic finish allowed to Pawhuska in the Class 3A Regional Baseball Tournament Wednesday at Cardinal Park.

The Huskies came back from 11 runs down to beat Salina, then watched No. 1 Verdigris roar to a 16-0 run-rule victory in the winner‘s bracket finals. The Cardinals improved to 26-6 and maintained pursuit of a fourth-straight state title, beating Tahlequah Sequoyah 4-1 in the tourney opener.

Pawhuska trailed Salina 11-0, then scored eight times in the sixth inning to force a 13-all tie, finally collecting the winning run on a bases loaded walk off single in the seventh.

The Huskies (18-8) were overwhelmed by powerful Verdigris in game two, thanks to a pair of home runs from Mitch Hammack and another from Riley Keizor.

The Cardinals slammed 13 hits with Hammack and Peyton Battenfield marking up three each.

Kale Keith, who pitches side-arm, tossed a two-hitter to go with two walks.

Verdigris scored five times in the first inning and saw Keizor jerk a grand slam home run over the center field wall. Hammack then stepped to the plate and punched the next Pawhuska pitch out over left field for a 5-0 lead.

In the second inning, Ryan Skalnik’s sacrifice fly drove in pinch runner Caleb Ayers and Hammack boomed his second homer to make it 8-0.

Hammack drove the ball out near his first spot, almost 375 feet away in center field, and Huskies center fielder Bryce Wilson ran head long into the wall, producing a big bang.

Wilson went down, but recovered to finish the game.

In the third, Battenfield singled home Sam Hill and Skalnik’s base hit plated Ayers and Battenfield, giving Verdigris an 11-0 cushion.

Five runs crossed in the fourth inning, the biggest blow a two-run double off the stick of Skalnik.