The Duncan Banner
As the Duncan baseball team found out in its doubleheader Monday night, facing the top ranked team in the state is never an easy task.
The No. 15 Demons showed plenty of fight against No. 1 Carl-Albert, but the Titans presented much power at the plate, beating Duncan 6-2 and 12-2 in five innings.
“Our performance has nothing to do with the competition we’re playing, it’s more about us,” Demons coach Tim Hightower said. “We didn’t have a whole lot of fight today. We started well in both games but then gave up too many free bases and fell behind.”
CARL ALBERT 6 DHS 2
In each half of the doubleheader, the Demons started strong with two first run innings, but couldn’t generate any offense from the second inning on.
After each team plated two run to kick off game one, it was all Titans. Chevin Noone settled down and suffocated the Demons offense, striking out six and keeping Duncan scoreless in the game’s final five innings.
Starting in the third inning, the Titans slowly began to pull ahead. Second baseman Garrett Wages brought home James Jackson to break the tie, Justin McGregor blasted a solo homerun to deep right in the fourth and the Titans added more insurance with two runs in the fifth inning.
Junior pitcher John Campbell did all he could in the losing effort, pitching a complete game and allowing just four runs in the game’s final five innings.
Duncan had two runners on base in the fifth and sixth innings and one in the seventh, but could never take advantage. McGregor came in midway through the seventh and shut the door, striking out senior shortstop Dillon Stanley to secure the win.
“I thought John Campbell did exactly what we wanted him to do,” Hightower said. “We made a couple mistakes in the field that brought in some runs. It could have been 3-2 with the tying run on base in the seventh inning.”
The Demons lost sophomore catcher Mason Hightower for the rest of the day when he suffered a wrist injury on a foul tip. His status for the Demons next contest is unknown.
CARL ALBERT 12 DHS 2
Duncan once again came out energized in the first inning, but it would not be enough to match the wrath of the Titans, as the Demons fell 12-2 in five innings.
Senior left fielder Ryan Haley led off the game by reaching first on a hit by pitch and later advanced to second on a wild pitch. Senior second baseman Cade Baldwin delivered during the next at bat, bringing Haley home on a single to right field. Two batters later, sophomore catcher Bryce Byford brought home Duncan’s final run of the night by scoring Baldwin with a double to right field.
Carl-Albert wasted no time to respond, scoring three runs in the bottom half of the first. Noone continued his strong night by plating McGregor and first baseman Gavin LaValley with an RBI single and third baseman Jared Price gave the Titans its first lead, scoring Noone with an infield single to second base.
The Titans never looked back, scored five in the second and four more in the fourth en route to a comfortable 12-2 lead. Duncan’s final chance came in the top of the fifth, but Titans starting pitcher Cameron Warren struck out the side to secure the win.
Stanley took the loss for Duncan, allowing eight runs in two innings of work.
“We have to find ways to get better,” Hightower said. “We’ll find out where we need to improve and try to make strides at the plate and on the mound.”
The Demons will be back on the diamond at 5 p.m. Friday at home against Chickasha.