Minco jumped out to a big early lead Thursday afternoon against the Ninnekah Owls baseball team at Verden High School in the first round of the Grady County Tournament, and won the game. Not before Ninnekah made it interesting, however.
The Bulldogs won the game 17-9, and advanced to the winners bracket. But the final score doesn't tell the entire story.
Minco scored the first seven runs of the game with a three-run first inning and a four-run second inning. Ninnekah managed two runs in the top of the third inning, but Minco answered with four more of its own.
Down 11-2 in the fourth inning, it seemed a sure bet that Minco would take the win by run-rule after the fifth inning. Both teams went scoreless in the fourth inning, but the Owls came storming back in the top of the fifth.
Ninnekah scored seven runs in the inning on three hits and two walks. Everything seemed to start going right for Ninnekah and wrong for Minco. Minco fielders began to have trouble bringing in fly balls, as the wind would change the direction of them, and Minco pitchers began to have control issues, with several balls getting by the catcher.
Minco went scoreless in the bottom of the fifth, and the score going into the sixth inning was 11-9 Minco.
In the end, the Bulldogs managed to cut the game short after the sixth inning by scoring six runs in the bottom of the sixth to get the necessary eight-run lead after five innings to end the game by run-rule.
Cade Baade started on the mound for Minco, but was pulled from the game after two innings once the Bulldogs had a sizable lead. Steven Whalen and Colton Bauman pitched in the fifth inning when Ninnekah scored most of its runs. Whalen pitched 2.1 innings, and Bauman went 0.2. Alex Holding finished the game for Minco.
Catcher Carrie Farmer went 3-for-5 with five RBIs. Baade went 3-for-5 three RBIs. Whalen also went 3-for-5, and had two RBIs. Holding went 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Bauman went 1-for-1 and was hit by pitch twice and walked twice.
Justin McConnell started for Ninnekah, and pitched three innings, giving up eleven runs. Blake Diggs pitched the remainder of the game, giving up six runs.
Brody Shaw, Jonathan Keef, McConnell, Devin Robnett and Nolan Miller each had one RBI for Ninnekah. The other runs for the Owls were scored on errors or wild pitches.
Ninnekah played Alex on Friday afternoon, and Minco faced off against No. 1 Amber-Pocasset in the evening in the semifinals.