Tournaments

Marlow’s Caleb Wortham dives for a ball earlier this season against Blanchard. Wortham and the Outlaws are playing this week in the Washita Valley Classic in Chickasha.

Coming off spring break, area baseball teams are set for a busy week with tournaments throughout the region.

Duncan and Marlow both travel to Chickasha to play strong competition at the Washita Valley Classic being played at Chickasha High School and Bill Smith Ballpark at the University of Science and Arts Oklahoma campus. Central High, Ryan, Waurika, Bray-Doyle and Empire all take to the Southwest Oklahoma Hardball Classic in Temple, while Rush Springs is off to the Dibble High School Baseball Tournament.

Duncan started its tournament experience with a 9 a.m. contest today against Bishop McGuinness. The Demons, who are coming off a 2-1 showing at the Shawnee Festival, are set to play at 6 p.m. Thursday against Chickasha, while playing a double-header starting at 11 a.m. Friday against Leedy and Lawton High.

For Duncan, the question will be pitching depth.

“This will be by far the biggest challenge that our pitchers have faced this year,” Duncan head coach Darren Briggs said. “No doubt about it, we need them to step up. It’s all about consistency from pitch to pitch, and inning to inning. The question is, will we have the arms?”

The Demons, who are ranked No. 14 in Class 5A, will throw Jacob Russell against McGuinness, while Tyler King will face Chickasha on Thursday. From there, Briggs joked about pulling names from a hat.

For the Outlaws, the tournament brings the opportunity to get going offensively. It’s also a chance for them to show that they will be a team to be reckoned with in the playoffs.

“We want to go win it,” Marlow head coach Brook Holding said. “We’ll have to play well, but I think playing in the tournament will help us down the line. We’ll see a lot of good pitching.”

Marlow (9-5) starts the tournament at 1:30 p.m. today against Lawton Eisenhower, while it will play an early double-header Thursday with contests at 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. against Woodward and El Reno. The Outlaws will then play at USAO at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

Holding said that the Outlaws will probably pitch Daniel Skelly today, but that he was unsure of the rotation for the rest of the tournament.

The classic will also welcome teams from Elgin, Anadarko and Western Heights.

Rush Springs will look to go through a field that possesses Pauls Valley, Maysville, Stratford, Dibble, Cement, Paoli and Wayne.

The Redskins open the tournament at 6:30 p.m. Thursday against Pauls Valley. With a win, the Redskins will play at 4 p.m. Friday, while a loss will have them slotted for a 1:30 p.m. game against the loser of Maysville versus Stratford. The championship game will be played at 4 p.m. Saturday.

Over in Temple, the baseball action doesn’t get under way until Thursday. Along with the area teams, the SOHC will contain teams from Temple, Sterling, Grandfield and Ringling.

The Donkeys will kick things off at the tournament, playing a 10 a.m. game against Ringling. Temple will take on Waurika at 12:15 p.m., while Empire will play at 2:30 p.m. against Grandfield. Central High will play the Ryan Cowboys at 4:45 p.m., with the winner to go up against Sterling in a 7 p.m. showdown.

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