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Sports

June 15, 2014

Central High finds ways to score

CENTRAL HIGH — Derek Davis hit .091 last year, but this summer he has to take on a bigger role offensively.

Deadlocked in a 3-3 tie with Navajo, Davis came through with a walk-off single to score Jordan Jones and put Central High in the third-place game of its home tournament. He was thrilled he could come through in the clutch.

“We had to have a hit to win the ball game,” Davis said. “You have to step up when it’s your turn.”

A strong defensive first baseman, Davis didn’t have to be in many pressure-packed situations. The designated hitter often hit for him, but as with a lot of other players, Jones needs more contributions at the plate. He said his player took a big step in the right direction on Saturday.

“It’s big for his confidence,” Jones said. “He’s going to have to be in the batting order next year and that was very big for us. I’m so proud of him for coming through for us.”

Jones was happy the team bounced back after losing in extra-innings to Hollis Friday night. After a rough relief outing in that game, Joseph Flood pitched a complete game Saturday.

With Cooper Phillips, one of the main relief options for the Bronchos, gone, Flood knew he might have to go the distance. If Davis wasn’t able to come through Jones said he was still going to trot Flood back out to the mound to pitch the eighth.

“When they get their start, they’ve got to go out there and give me everything,” Jones said. “I pitch them like it’s a sprint. They’ve just got to get to the finish line then they’re done.”

There were some bumps in the track and a lot of them weren’t Flood’s fault. Central High had some costly errors, two of which helped score two runs. Flood kept his composure and said after the game that it’s just part of the learning process for the young team.

“We know it’s going to happen,” Flood said. “We’re not perfect. We’re not MLB. We’ll work on it everyday. So knowing that we’re not perfect, knowing that we’re just in high school, we can learn from it.”

Central High’s next game is against Hollis on Monday. It will then travel to Lawton MacArthur for its second tournament of the summer there.

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