The Sallisaw Cardinals used a big fifth inning to break open their 2023 OK Kids Age 12-and-Younger State Tournament winner’s-bracket quarterfinal game against the Blanchard Boom, but boom the Cardinals did.
A nine-run fifth inning got the game into run-rule status as the Cardinals blanked the Boom 13-0 to advance Tuesday night’s winner’s bracket semifinal against the Kingfisher Blue Sox, who defeated the Henryetta Express 5-2 in the preceding game.
Another Cardinals win would have put them into tonight’s winner’s-bracket final with a shot at making the state championship round, which will begin at 1 p.m. Friday. The state championship game is slated for 5 p.m. Friday.
A two-out RBI double by Gunner Griffey put the Cardinals ahead 1-0 in the first inning, which the became a 3-0 advantage after three innings.
Cord Tucker’s one-out RBI double in the fourth inning increased Sallisaw’s lead to 4-0.
Then, the Cardinals erupted for nine runs as 13 batters came to the plate in the fifth inning.
An RBI triple by Rowdy Nickell, an RBI single by Luke Warner, an RBI double by Jordan Velasquez, a pair of two-RBI singles by Tucker and Kiefer Bailey, an RBI double by Nickell and a Blanchard error produced the nine runs, and a 13-0 lead.
Griffey got the win, going the first 4.2 innings with 12 strikeouts. Bailey got the final out of the game.
For the game, Nickell was 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, two runs batted in and two runs scored, Bailey went 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored, Warner was 2-for-3 with an RBI, Tucker was 2-for-3 with a double, three RBIs and a run scored, Myles Ott scored twice courtesy running for Warner, Griffey doubled, scored once and had an RBI and Velasquez hit an RBI double and scored twice.