Aaron Colen, Sports Editor, Aaron.Colen@chickashanews.com
It was only the sixth game of the season, but Chickasha head baseball coach Brad Gore told his team to treat Tuesday night's home game against Altus like a playoff game.
"When we play these district games, we need these games to get where we want to get, to host that regional," Gore said. "So we're trying to treat these district games like playoff games, and treat the other games at the end of the week more like regular season games."
Ironically, Altus was the team that ended Chickasha's season last year, upsetting the Fightin' Chicks in the regional playoffs at Elliott Field last May.
Chickasha won Tuesday's game over the Bulldogs 5-2, and the Fightin' Chicks advanced to 6-0 this year.
The team didn't start the game with playoff energy, even leading Gore to comment before the game that his team didn't seem very excited.
Cade Morris was Chickasha's starting pitcher, and pitched a complete game with 13 strikeouts. He had a somewhat shaky first inning, giving up a single on the first at-bat and hitting the third batter with a pitch, but eventually settled in.
"After the second or third inning, it looked like he loosened up," Gore said. "He did the same thing at Weatherford, kind of started off a little shaky, but it seems like as the game goes on, he picks up momentum."
Chickasha scored two runs in the first inning. Luke Dixon reached base on a lead-off walk, and Morris singled.
Brant Haile hit a sacrifice fly ball to the centerfielder to drive in Dixon, and Blake Burns flew out to left field to bring Morris home.
Altus scored one run in the third inning, after leading off the inning with a walk and scoring on a single.
Derek Sullivan and Brooks Bush each had one RBI in the fourth inning.
Chickasha scored its final run in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Sullivan doubled and was driven home on a Tresjon Davis single.
Altus scored once in the top of the seventh inning, but never came close to stringing together enough offense to threaten Chickasha.
Chickasha forced the Bulldogs to use three pitchers in the game. Altus' starter only pitched one inning, the next pitcher went 2.2 innings, and the third pitcher finished the game.
"As soon as there was a little bit of trouble, they were changing pitchers," Gore said. "So our guys never saw a pitcher more than one time."
Chickasha's next game is scheduled for Friday, March 15 on the road against Del City, a team the Chicks beat at Elliott Field on March 8 by a score of 10-0. The game will start at 5 p.m.