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June 29, 2014

Duncan tries to regroup after loss

DUNCAN — Down but not out, the Duncan baseball team tries to find a way to recover its confidence after a 10-0 loss to PC North Saturday.

A win would have locked up a spot in the quarterfinals, but an inability to capitalize in key situations left the Demons with a little more work to do Sunday.

“We just try to leave this game behind us,” senior Mason Hightower said. “All we have to do is win one game and we make it on to the round of eight.”

Being one of the best eight teams in the state to play summer ball was the goal of the team going into the playoffs. That’s what the team will be fighting for when it takes on either Westmoore or Norman North at 4:30 p.m.

Duncan won’t have senior Dylan Zawicki. The right-handed pitcher has placed himself among the Demons best on the mound, finding ways to escape jams and keep his pitch count low.

This has led to coach Tim Hightower using him in high-pressure situations, but after pitching Friday, the earliest Hightower said he’ll use Zawicki will be Monday.

“He’s just continued where he left off in the spring, continued to go out and give us good outings,” Hightower said. “He makes team beat him, and doesn’t let things bother him. He just keeps pitching. He gives up a single, double or triple, it doesn’t matter. He gets back on the hill and comes right back at you.”

For Zawicki to be able to consistently pitch the entire game has given a boost to the Demons, who had to grind out a 5-4 win versus Norman North Friday.

Duncan jumped on the host of the tournament early, up 4-0 after the first inning. Then Norman started coming back. A late insurance run driven in by a  Bryce Byford triple helped the Demons grinded out a big win.

“When you get ahead of them, sometimes you have to put them away,” Hightower said. “If you leave the door open, sometimes it will come back to get you. But in this case we did what we had to do to win the game.”

Freshman Tyler Polk continued his emergence as one of the key players in the young team. He hit a three-RBI triple to help Duncan get out to its early lead.

“He’s a talented kid,” Hightower said. “He’s a young kid who’s going to make some mistakes, but he’s played enough baseball and been around it enough that we’re just glad to have him out with us. Hopefully he’ll contribute in the spring next year.”

In the loss to PC North, not much went the Demons way. The Demons had bases loaded at one point, but failed to capitalize on the opportunity.

While the varsity team tries to regroup, the second team, made up of eighth through tenth graders, moves forward in its final summer tournament.

It opened up play Thursday with a 7-4 win versus Yukon. Freshman Austin Mitchell picked up the win.

On Friday Duncan pitched Derek Bridges in a 15-3 win versus Bishop McGuinness. Coach Eddie Mullins said it was a total team effort to pick up the win.

“We’ve been playing really well as a group,” Mullins said. “They love the game. They play well together and we’ve been really successful this summer.”

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