All the signs were there that it was going to be Duncan’s night. There were chickens coming to town for sacrifice, and for goodness sakes, they are the Demons. They had also beaten Chickasha 9-4 in the in-school season match-up.

A poet would have a field day with all the devices, but sometimes the idea is better than the result. Chickasha swept the Tuesday doubleheader in Duncan with a 15-4 opening game, followed by a 5-4 extra inning affair.

The Demons fall to 2-3 in summer league play. Duncan is off to Ardmore to play in a tournament where it will play its first game at noon on Thursday. Friday will put them against Bray-Doyle at 2:30 p.m., followed by a 7:30 p.m. contest against Ardmore.

Chickasha 15, Duncan 4

In the opening game, Duncan was shown what other teams experienced at Sportsman’s Park all season. Big innings came the Fightin Chicks way in the late innings, as Chickasha pinned a 15-4 win on the scoreboard.

Colby Snider went three and a third innings, receiving the loss for Duncan. Snider had the velocity needed, but struggled with command and placement from the beginning of the game. Chickasha knocked him out of the game with three quick runs in the third. Vince Linke came in for relief, but wasn’t treated any kinder.

Chickasha pounded out 14 hits in the game, and took advantage of three Duncan errors.

“I thought Colby threw all right in the first game,” Hightower said. “They jumped out on us pretty quick in the game, and we couldn’t stop them.”

The Fightin Chicks scored four runs in the third, five in the fourth and put four more on the Demons in the fifth. Duncan couldn’t answer the call, and the game was called after the fifth inning on the run-rule.

Kyle Payne delivered the first run of the game for Duncan with a first inning single scoring Justin Holbein. Jack Ross slapped a single through the right side of the infield for the second run, followed by a Holbein double scoring Ross from first base in the second inning. Snider would score the final Duncan run after reaching on a walk. He scampered home on a passed ball.

Chickasha 5, Duncan 4 (8)

There may be a “Fightin” in front of Chickasha’s mascot’s name, but Duncan showed that they deserve the same, with a valiant effort in the 5-4 loss.

Chickasha jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first inning, and held onto the lead throughout the early portions of the game. Defense combined with a resurgence from starting pitcher Mark Kendall held Chickasha scoreless for the rest of regulation.

“I thought Mark Kendall threw an outstanding game,” Hightower said. “That was his best game this year. He had good location on his pitches, and got a lot of quick innings.”

Duncan broke through offensively in the fourth inning of play. Clint Miller opened things up with a leadoff triple, followed by Jacob Russell’s RBI single. Russell’s hit brought home Caleb Knight who courtesy ran for Miller who was catching.

Brandon Smith executed a solid sacrifice bunt to advance Russell to second base, and would score on the next at-bat. Sam Whitten hit a squib shot to second base, which was overthrown at first base. Russell scored on the error to tie the game at 2-2.

Defense dominated the following two innings as both teams put on a clinic on the field. Shortstop Linke made a great running catch in short left field preceded by a short-hop pickup from his double play partner Russell at second base.

“We played really well defensively in the game,” Hightower said. “They’re coming around, and we’re learning how to play together. They are competing really well. That’s what summer ball is all about.”

Miller was also dominant behind the plate for Duncan. He was able to throw out two runners on steal attempts, and catch one napping on the base paths.

“He’s a really talented player,” Hightower said of Miller. “He’s pretty raw, fundamentally, but he has a great arm and really hustles. He goes 100 miles per hour all the time. I thought he did a really good job behind the plate.”

Chickasha broke loose in the top of the eighth inning. John Skinner started the rally with a single, and was moved to second on a Brandon Cook single. While defense was strong for most of the game, Duncan committed an error that allowed Skinner to score and put runners at first and third. Dalton Sheppard brought home the second run of the game with a squeeze bunt, and Chickasha capped its scoring effort when Chris Ellis scored on a fielder’s choice.

Miller saved a run for Duncan to end the inning, when he retrieved a passed ball and ran toward home plate to greet the oncoming runner barreling down from third base. Miller won the foot race with a last moment dive to tag out the runner and put the Demons back on offense down three.

“To get the ball on a passed ball and tag the guy out at home is pretty impressive,” Hightower said.

Duncan still didn’t want to call it quits after falling behind in the extra inning game.

Payne once again started things off with a single, and scored when Massey delivered a double. With no outs and runners on base, the Demons got caught in two fielder’s choice plays that cut down runners trying to score. The final out of the game came via strike out, and put the cap on a hard-fought summer league game.

“I thought we competed really well in the second game,” Hightower said. “We’re coming around, slowly but surely.”

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