The OSSAA Fall baseball rankings are out today. The Navajo Indians are #13 in Class A. The current rankings includes the weekend games Navajo played in the Labor Day Tournament in Eakly.
On Friday Navajo thumped Blair around 17-7. Colby Staggs and Dylan Mandreell combined for 6 innings and allowed only three Blair hits. The Sophomore pitchers struggled hitting the strike zone which accounted for most of the Blair runs. “They are both young and in need of valuable high school experience.” said head coach Weston Winters. “They need to trust the defense and pitch to contact and realize they don’t need to try and strike everyone out.”
Maxwell Smith continued his assault on the baseball going 3-5 in the leadoff spot with a couple of singles, a double and 2 RBIs. Freshman Tristan Netherton went 3-5 with 2 singles, a triple and 3 RBIs. Stephan Gilstad was 2-4.
“Offensively, we really came to play. We executed drag bunts and a safety squeeze and we really came through with some clutch two-out hits. Those are my favorite,” said Winters.
On Saturday, The Indians put some drama in the air with a walk-off Curtis Goodson single with two outs in the bottom of the 7th inning to beat Hydro-Eakly-Butler-Arapaho or HEAB for short, 4-3. Goodson, Braden Box and Dakota McGrory combined for 7 innings. McGrory gets credit with the win. Maxwell Smith gets his name in the paper again going 3-4 adding 3 RBIs. Gilstad had a double and Goodson helped with the walk-off single.
In the second game on Saturday, Navajo’s fortune was reversed dropping a 5-4 decision to Binger in front of a large crowd. Binger had their moment in the bottom of the 9th inning with a game winning walk-off single. “It was a great game.” said Winters, “Both teams took advantage of defensive miscues and this ended up being one the classic game I’ve coached in.” Dakota McGrory pitched 8 of the innings with 7 strikeouts. Braden Box pitched the 9th.
“We played good baseball this week.” Winters added. “We had just a few mistakes. Once we decide that no errors are acceptable, we may start winning against these elite teams. We know we have to improve in some aspects of the game. I am very proud of this team and their approach to these games. This team is not satisfied with being competitive. They have a true hunger to win. This is why I love to coach.”
Navajo is close to the top. Although #13 in the rankings, they have lost to Class B #1 Leedey. Leedey is the state’s only undefeated team. Binger is #2 in Class A and Sterling is #7.
Navajo will host Blair today at 4 p.m. and travel to Enid Fridaya and Saturday for the Enid Festival with Drummond, Lookeba-Sickles and Cimmaron.