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March 26, 2013

Demons drop second straight to Macarthur

DUNCAN — For whatever reason, Lawton Macarthur seems to have the Duncan baseball team’s number this season.

After winning its six previous games, the No. 13 Demons (6-3) dropped its second contest in two days to the No. 20 Highlanders (4-6) with a 14-0 defeat Tuesday.

“As a team, you’re going to hit high points and low points, and tonight we hit a low point,” Demons coach Tim Hightower said. “We made a lot of mistakes defensively, didn't perform on the mound and we had a lot of kids who weren’t relaxed at the plate.”

The game also served a patriotic purpose, as Duncan baseball hosted its first ever Veterans Appreciation Day. Members of the Oklahoma Veterans Center in Lawton attended the game and were awarded a game ball in between innings.

Both teams stayed quiet in the first inning, but for Duncan, it proved to be the calm before the storm.

Macarthur put itself ahead by a sizable margin in the second inning, scoring six runs before getting its first out. Tristan Bowen got things started with a line single to right, bringing in Morgan Merrit from third base.

After an infield ground ball hit by Jake Smith left everyone safe and the bases loaded, Demons pitcher Trevor Stone allowed his fourth walk of the game to bring John Sauseda home.

Stone struggled with control from the start, and only got three Highlanders out before being replaced by Riley Peters on the mound halfway through the second.

“He just didn’t have his command wasn’t getting after people,” Hightower said. “But we’ll get back to work tomorrow – he’s pitched well for us before and he will again.”

MacArthur pitcher Ryan Scheid did not welcome Peters into the game kindly, blasting a bases-clearing triple to deep center field to give MacArthur a 6-0 lead.

Peters settled down and kept the Highlanders scoreless for the next three innings, but the Duncan offense could not gain any ground. From the second inning on, the Demons managed just three hits and no runs against Scheid.

The deficit grew from six to seven in the fifth and seven to eight in the sixth, as Macarthur scored on ground ball errors at shortstop in each inning. The Demons finished with six errors on the game.

With an eight run lead heading into the seventh, the Highlanders left no door open for a comeback, exploding for its second six run inning of the game.

With Blaine Hillin on the hill, Duncan could not slow down their opponent’s offense. The Demons defense did not make things easy on Hillin, as Macarthur scored on two infield singles and a ball thrown over Peters’ head at first base. By the end of the inning, the deficit had grown to 14.

That’s how it would stay, as Hunter Phillips was thrown out at home trying to score from second base in the seventh inning for the game’s final out.

Duncan will try to bounce back on Thursday in the Ardmore/Lone Grove Showcase, with its first game coming against Ada at 10 a.m..

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