The Altus Bulldogs hosted a double-header with Ardmore on Monday afternoon and split the games with the Tigers.
The games were originally scheduled to be played in Ardmore but the location of the games were changed very late Sunday night for undisclosed reasons.
This was the Bulldogs’ first district clash and their first action since losing the semi-final game of the Cache Tournament to Elk City, 9-1. The game against Elk City was a rematch of a loss the Bulldogs suffered earlier last week at home.
Tyler Garcia took the mound in the first game on Monday against Ardmore. However, It may not have mattered if a Cy Young winner was on the mound for the Bulldogs in game one.
When the first inning ended in game one, the Bulldogs had committed 11 errors and allowed 19 Ardmore Tigers to cross home plate. You read that correctly.
The final score of game one was 26-1. After suffering back-to-back run rule losses, a team and season can quickly get out of hand.
It can be tough for any team in that situation to recover from.
Baseball, like many other sports, is best played by athletes who possess short memories. If too much time is spent dwelling on what has happened, whether good or bad, athletes/teams will miss the all important next opportunity to compete.
It is extremely important to remember “what happens next.”
The next thing for the Bulldogs is to take the field, the mound and the batter’s box intent on competing for the win. Jackson Herring took the mound for the Bulldogs and threw a gem-scattering six hits getting the 13-5 win.
Down 2-0 heading into the bottom half of the third inning, the Bulldogs had just one hit to this point and frustration was setting in.
Then, Bulldog lead-off hitter Tito Jones was tasked with starting off the third inning. Tito went down on strikes to start the game off. The Ardmore pitcher sat three Bulldogs down on strikes in the first inning and the Bulldogs again looked to be struggling at the plate. Things would soon change.
Entering the third inning, the Bulldogs were down 2-0. Tito Jones would get the offense rolling for the Bulldogs and it was the start of a historic performance for Jones.
Jones doubled to get things started in the third and the Bulldogs continued to hammer Ardmore pitching the rest of the way.
Montorie Bridges was hit by a pitch following the Jones double. It was Bridges second time to be struck on the day by a wayward pitch. McCrae Stephens doubled and Jackson Herring singled to knot the score at 2-2.
The Bulldogs would bang out 14 hits on their way to the 13 runs. Jones, Bridges and Taven Birdow did most of the damage. Birdow was 3 for 4 and fell a home run short of hitting for the cycle. Bridges was 3 for 3 with two doubles.
Tito Jones doubled in the third inning, tripled in the fourth inning and homered in the fifth inning. Tito came to the plate in the sixth inning needing just a single for the very, very rare cycle. Jones got his single and enters Bulldogs and baseball lore by hitting for the cycle as he recorded a single, double, triple and a home run in one game.
Congratulations Tito and the Bulldogs. I am glad I was there to see it. Stay hot.
Confidence at the plate can make the biggest difference in between success and failure. Despite getting steamrolled in game one in the manner of defensive collapse, the Bulldogs are back on the winning side by an offensive explosion.
The Bulldogs are off the rest of the week. They will go to Lawton Ike on Monday.
Reach Brad [email protected] ext. 2076