After getting cliniced by state-qualifier Shawnee in round one, Chickasha 1 went toe-to-toe with state-qualifier Marlow Saturday and almost pulled off a big upset.

The jitters were gone and the youngsters played like they now knew they belonged there.

After giving up a first-inning run, Chickasha responded quickly. Jon Skinner's rip to the left field wall scored Chance Thomas from second then Skinner put the Chicks up running the back end of a delayed double steal. Dalton Sheppard drew a walk then ran the decoy to perfection, allowing Skinner to score.

Marlow answered when veteran Dakota Kinsey burned starter Chance Sneed for a leadoff home run. A heads-up Chick defensive play then came up big.

Skinner's throw from third on Blue Mackey's hard grounder sailed. Mackey took a hard left and kept going but right fielder Derrick Spoonemore backed the play up perfectly, played the ball off the fence and fired a bullet to Braden Cook to get Mackey at second.

The hustle play loomed even larger when Mike Carter followed it with the second home run of the inning, just putting the Outlaws up by one after two.

The third and fourth frames were quiet but things took off again in the fifth.

Chickasha took a 5-4 lead on a two-run home run from first baseman Josh Gresham. The rally stalled and Marlow's bats heated up in the home half.

A pair of doubles and a Caleb Wortham blast to straightaway center scored four quick runs and Josh Gresham took over for Sneed, who had pitched well up through 4.1 innings. Two hard-charging catches from Sheppard in center ended the inning but Chickasha was down 7-4.

They rallied in the sixth but a couple of key strikeouts and a routine ground ball left the bases full and a zero in the run column. Gresham allowed one single in the Marlow sixth but got the Chicks right back on offense.

Sneed, who was frustrated after being walked three times, finally got something to hit and drove Gresham in with a single to the gap. Skinner followed with a double and advanced to third when Sneed was cut down at home.

A walk to Sheppard set up the delayed double steal, and again, Skinner ran the back end for the sixth run.

With runners on second and third and two outs, the Chicks' luck ran out…Wortham bore down and got Korey Keef swinging to end the game.

They gave a veteran Outlaw club everything they wanted. It was a good outing for the youngsters against a quality team and should give them a big jolt of confidence for the rest of the season.

This Week's Circulars