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Following what may have been its toughest week of the season, the Duncan baseball team is hoping to right the ship at the Bill Upton Tournament on Thursday.
The Demons (9-9) are fresh off a brutal four game stretch last week that included two defeats to the top ranked team in the state Carl Albert and No. 5 Chickasha, respectively.
Duncan will get its first chance to snap the four game losing streak Thursday with games against Blanchard and Shawnee, and continues play Friday against Clinton and McAlester.
“We need to be better in the middle innings and work to become better finishers,” Demons coach Tim Hightower said. “It’s more about us working on our own play than anyone that we’re facing.”
Tournament play has been kind to Duncan recently, as it won its final three games at the Ardmore/Lone Grove Showcase by a combined score of 32-8. Then came the gauntlet of top competition against the Titans and Fighting Chicks, where the Demons were outscored 30-6.
In those games, the Duncan offense started strong early, but struggled to keep the pressure on. The team scored its only two runs in the first inning of each of its defeats to Carl Albert.
Despite a 1-4 record at opposing team’s stadiums, neutral sites have been kind to the Demons, who own a 4-2 record in those games.
While not as difficult as a week ago, the schedule doesn’t exactly let up at Bill Upton on Thursday. The Class 4A No. 8 Lions (14-4) are working on a three game winning streak while the Class 5A No. 11 Wolves will be hungry for a win after two tough defeats to Deer Creek.
Duncan will be challenged again Friday against Class 5A No. 8 McAlester, who outscored its opponents 44-0 in two wins last week.
“If we play our game, stay patient at the plate and minimize mistakes we can play with anyone,” Hightower said. “On the mound, we just have to stay aggressive and hit our spots.”
Tournament play for Duncan is slated to begin at 5 p.m..