BY ADAM TROXTELL
DEER CREEK —
The Wood Bat Playoffs offered a chance for Tuttle to assert its position as one of the area’s top baseball teams, but the Tigers were unfortunate to fall short this time and lost in the Deer Creek site semifinal to Weatherford 8-5 on Monday.
“It’s about normal,” head coach Travis Owen said. “It’s hard to judge with the younger guys we’ve got. We’ll be alright.”
After reaching the state final last spring, the Tigers entered the summer on a high, with Owen predicting they were one of the best, if not the best, teams in the area. While on paper the Wood Bat Playoffs might show otherwise, Tuttle was performing without many of its seasoned players that were part of that state finals run.
“My best pitcher is out playing with Oklahoma Outlaws (a select team),” Owen said. “We had three starters in that last game that played in the state tournament.”
The Tigers team Owen had available began the Wood Bat Playoffs by easing past Prague 6-3 Friday afternoon. They continued playing well into Saturday, just losing out to site hosts Deer Creek 6-5. That result meant they went through bracket play as the number two seed.
Despite the loss to Weatherford that sent them out of the annual summer postseason, Owen said he saw some good signs from his team, the majority of which were underclassmen.
“We’re good at bunting and running,” Owen said, emphasizing how Tuttle emphasizes the phrase speed kills in their game. “We can use that to help us keep up in games. If we can find a catcher, we’ll be just as good as we were.”
Another reason for Owen to be optimistic is brewing with the junior varsity team, who won the tournament they hosted by beating Edmond-Santa Fe 11-1 on Sunday. The 16-team tournament also included teams from area towns like Blanchard and El Reno.
“I was pleased about that,” he said.
A junior varsity/junior high version of the Red Dirt League summer playoffs begins today in Tuttle, with the Tigers playing at 7:30 p.m. both Wednesday and Thursday ahead of the knockout round that begins this weekend.