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May 2, 2014

Outlaws face Tuttle in rematch Friday

MARLOW — While most of Class 3A is fighting to stay alive, No. 4 Marlow baseball, by virtue of a bye in the district playoffs, will not have to fear its season ending.

The Outlaws (24-9) aren’t taking the weekend off, though. They will face an even tougher test, Class 4A No. 1 Tuttle, Friday.

If the Outlaws lose, they still are assured a regional berth, but coach Jeff Brewer still ts to beat the team that defeated his squad 16-11 on March 11.

“You know you’re always going to get a well-coached and fundamentally-sound team in Tuttle,” Brewer said. “They’re as good or better as anyone in 3A. So, it will give us a good idea of where we stack up.”

It won’t be the first time Marlow has gone out of its class to find high-level competition.

The Outlaws beat Class A Sterling, which doesn’t have football and plays baseball all year, 8-4 on March 4. That was in the Southern Oklahoma Invitational, which included games against Class 5A Ardmore and Noble as well. That was a precursor for even bigger things, including a game versus Class 2A No. 1 Silo, which the Outlaws lost 5-4, but gained some recognition from. Brewer wants to build on that foundation.

“People said, ‘Ooh you went and played with Silo’,” Brewer said. “We’ve got to beat someone we’re not supposed to beat at some time or another to win a state championship. Maybe it’s now.”

Marlow will have something it didn’t have the last time it played Tuttle — Trey Coffman. Off receiving an award for his athletic achievements, Marlow’s ace wasn’t able to be at the game. Beau Meshell started and struggled against the powerful 4A lineup.

“Beau’s been a little bit shaky, because he hasn’t thrown strikes consistently,” Brewer said. “He’s just going to have to focus and stay locked in on what his task is, which is to throw strikes and let his defense help him.”

Brewer thinks Meshell has enough velocity to do that effectively, but still pointed to Coffman as the No. 1 guy. Things are just different when he is on the mound, Brewer said.

“We’re most confident when he is in the game, and that’s pretty apparent for everyone to see,” Brewer said.

The coach said he plans on pitching both for two innings and then letting the rest of the staff close out the game. He has many options out of the bullpen as Devin Crawford, Brady Melton and Nick Warren have experienced success on the pitching mound this year.

Marlow also gets a boost from catcher Austin Forsythe’s return. He had to sit out the double-header on Monday with a hand injury.

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