VERDIGRIS – One day after Verdigris saw its 18-game winning streak end, it was business as usual for the Cardinals.
Junior Austin Woods collected three hits, four runs batted in and blasted a home run over the left field fence, powering Verdigris to a six-inning 12-4 win over Victory Christian Friday at cool Cardinals Field.
Just 24 hour earlier, the Cards dropped a 5-4 decision at Inola in a game where VHS coach Brian Keith said his 23-2 team was “flat.’’
“Our defense was not very good. We had five errors and gave them five unearned run,’’ Keith said. “For the first time today, we had our backs to the wall, trying to come back from a loss. This program is not used to losing. We had to rebound today and we played well enough to win.’’
Jared Keith added a pair of base hits and RBI in the Cardinals’ nine-hit attack with the Conquerors whacking eight, three each from third baseman Tragan Turk and left fielder Jacob Edwards.
Winner Sloan Roller fired four innings for Verdigris, striking out one and walking two while allowing six hits. Freshman Aaron Buntin tossed two innings, giving up two hits and fanning two with a base on balls.
“Our pitching has been worse the last two weeks and we play Grove for the district title on Monday and Tuesday,’’ said Keith, who rested players in his lineup against Victory. “We’re still trying to get better on the mound and I think losing humbled us and we played a little bit better defense today.’’
A six-run fourth inning proved the difference against Victory Christian with the Cardinals finally chasing Camden Gipson from the mound. Roller and Woods greeted Gipson with a pair of doubles, bringing on Edwards, a side armed right hander.
Verdigris took the lead for good at 5-4 after Edwards struck Tyler Haddock with the bases full, scoring Woods, who moved from first base to designated hitter for the game. Ty Moore and Austin Neal both scored on wild pitches with Keith knocking home Haddock.
Catcher Evan Anderson, replacing starter Tristen Hilton, resting a shoulder problem, scored on a fielder’s choice to make it 9-4.
Woods sent a solo shot over left field in the fifth and Toby Willis tripled into the right field corner, scoring leadoff hitter Brent Olson in the sixth. Woods ended the game with a sacrifice fly, driving home Willis with the 12th run and invoking the eight-run lead after five innings rule.
Victory Christian scored twice in the third to go up 2-1, then RBI singles from Keith and Olson gave the Cardinals a 3-2 edge in bottom of the third.
The Conquerors (8-11) again went ahead 4-3 in the fourth before Woods’ double plated Roller in the fourth to knot it up and send Gipson packing.