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Sports

June 5, 2014

Demons enter MacArthur tournament shorthanded

DUNCAN — With Mason Rogers out for the rest of the summer with a broken thumb and Mason Hightower competing in the Sun Belt Classic games, a handicapped Demon baseball squad will head to the Lawton MacArthur tournament this weekend.

Players aren’t the only missing parts for Duncan as head coach Tim Hightower won’t be going and neither will assistant coach Brian Keith. Assistant coach Colby Snider will lead Duncan in its first-round matchup against Elgin, who made it to the Class 4A state quarterfinal this spring.

But Snider is more focused on his own team than his opponent.

“It doesn’t matter who we play,” Snider said. “We just go in there and try to take care of business. We’ve done that well as of late.”

The Demons have won their last three games of the summer against MacArthur, Plainview and Chickasha, but without two of their key players, could find it a little more difficult against Elgin, which Snider says “is always a good program.”

The summer session is already designed for the coaches to see who can replace the seniors that have departed. Keith said this is an even better chance for players to make themselves known.

“Of course we want to win every game, but the main thing is to keep developing players,” Keith said. “We just want to go out, play the best and get better.”

As the pitching coach, Snider is most interested in looking at the young pitchers and how they do in high-pressure situations. There are some budding superstars for the Demons and both assistant coaches want to see how they can take their play to the next level when the spotlight is on them.

“That’s what we really enjoy about the summer time, looking at our younger guys, the future,” Snider said. “You really get to plan for the next year to see what you got, because we don’t really get to watch the freshmen play very much.”

One of the players that both coaches mentioned they are excited to watch is freshman Tyler Polk. Keith said the catcher is already having a tremendous summer for the team. He has shown his versatility by taking the mound against Chickasha and the next step will be proving that the experience he has gained outside of school can ease his transition to high-school ball.

“He’s played a lot of baseball,” Keith said. “He travels around the country with his (club teams) and we’re looking forward to having him for the next four years.”

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