Central’s high school baseball season came to a close Saturday night with a 13-1 loss to No. 11 Latta (21-12 overall) in the Class 2A regional tournament at Amber near Chickasha.
The Tigers (13-15) started regional play Friday with a 7-1 loss to host sixth-ranked Amber-Pocasset (24-8), then Central defeated Fairview (18-13), 9-6, on Saturday afternoon.
Amber-Pocasset qualified for this week’s 2A state tournament by winning the regional tournament.
Latta 13, Central 1
The No. 11 Panthers ended the Tigers’ season Saturday night.
Logan Rouell’s home run accounted for the Tigers’ run in the game.
“Hardy Buzzard started the Latta game and he threw 66 pitches,” Central head coach Wes Green said. “We made seven errors in that game. We’d make a play and then make an error. If we play “D” we’re right in the thick of that game and we also left the bases loaded three times against Latta. We had our opportunities.
“Hardy went four and then I threw my freshman lefty, Noah Butler, in the fifth. Noah is one of the six new guys to the lineup. When Bo (Locust) would pitch Noah would have to play first. At times we would have four freshmen in the lineup.
“For the regional our top hitters were our top three, Connor Green, Connor Walters and Bo Locust. They’re going to lead the way in each game and Aiden Sainer had a good regional. He stayed at the top of our lineup, anywhere from four to five-hole.”
Playing in the regional tournament for Central were Green, Walters, Locust, Sainer, Buzzard, Pattion Merrill, Mekko Ariza, Butler, Rouell, Kyle Harden and Waylen Campbell.
Walters is a junior, Green, Locust, Sainer, Buzzard, Rouell and Harden are sophomores and Merrill, Ariza, Butler and Campbell are freshmen. Central has no seniors on this year’s team.
Central 9, Fairview 6
The Tigers stayed alive in the tournament Saturday afternoon with the victory over the Yellowjackets.
“Our game 2 winner on the mound was Connor Walters,” Green said. “We struggled making some plays and then we just really got going offensively against Fairview. We hit well, we bunted and we stole bases.
“Connor (6.0 innings) pitched well and he went the max (119 pitches) and then I brought in Hardy Buzzard (1.0). Hardy just comes in and throws strikes. He gets our fly balls and ground balls and he’ll be in and out of an inning most of the time in five to eight pitches.
“After we got settled in with Fairview we started rolling.
Amber-Pocasset 7, Central 1
The Tigers fell to the sixth-ranked Panthers in their regional opener Friday afternoon.
Bo Locust (5.0 innings) started Friday’s game on the mound and Hardy Buzzard (2.0) pitched in relief for the Tigers in the sixth frame.
“Bo pitched good enough to win we just did not play,” Green said. “We would have an error here or there and they would get a cheap hit here or there. It was like we had jet lag, it was just too much time on the road.
“Hardy Buzzard came in for Bo late when Bo was at a high limit and didn’t need to go anymore.”
The tournament was scheduled to start Thursday but rain pushed the tourney back a day. The Tigers stayed in Norman Wednesday night before returning to Central Thursday after the postponement. After playing Amber-Pocasset Friday the Tigers returned home before driving back to Amber for Saturday’s contests.
“We got outscored and it was 2-1 or 3-1 midway and we just were not ourselves,” Green said. “I give them (Amber-Pocasset) credit because they’re good and a state tournament team. As bad as we played it was only 7-0 and it was like we have a chance at this.
“We were not ourselves on the bases. We would get on and we would get picked off or we would leave too soon and get thrown out and stuff. It just wasn’t us and then we made some bad plays and they hit the ball.”