A year after going 2-1 to open the season at the Sperry (Okla.) Tournament, the Neosho baseball team topped that mark this season after escaping Dewey (Okla.) 10-9 in 12 innings of the championship game on Saturday en route to a 3-0 finish and the tournament championship.
What better way to begin the season? The Wildcats (3-0) began their quest with a 27-0 no-hitter over Pawhuska (Okla.) in three innings, then toppled Sperry (Okla.) 15-3, and closed with a 10-9 thriller over Dewey in 12 innings.
Pitchers Jayce Parmley, Lane Brodie and Kris Finley combined to pitch the no-hitter against Pawhuska as they combined seven strikeouts and no walks.
At the plate the Wildcats went 20 for 31 as a team, as Brendan Craig pounded a home run and two triples to go along with four RBI and a run scored to lead the offense. Trey Turner had four hits, six RBI and scored four runs in the route. Tyler Johnson, Parmley and Nathan Bankston all had two hits for the Wildcats, while Finley, Wayde Hartman, Kody Kelly, Chris Paullus, Andy Lett and Nate Pool all had hits. The Wildcats had seven extra base hits, with Johnson recording a double and a triple, Bankston a triple and Lett a double.
Bankston also added four RBI and scored four runs.
It was much the same against Sperry, who entered the game 7-2 overall. The Wildcats climbed out to an 8-1 lead after two innings and were up 9-2 in the fifth before exploding for six runs to put it away.
Neosho had 17 hits in that one, with Kelly, Finley and Johnson each collected three apiece, while Turner, Craig, Parmley and Paullus adding two apiece. In all, the Wildcats blasted 11 of their 17 hits for extra bases, as Craig, Turner and Johnson each had a double and a triple, while Finley and Parmley had two doubles apiece and Kelley one.
Turner, meanwhile, started on the mound for the Wildcats and earned the victory as he scattered four hits and two runs with eight strikeouts and five walks over four innings. Hartman tossed the final inning and allowed a run on three hits with two strikeouts and a walk.
Saturday’s showdown against Oklahoma Class 4 Dewey presented more of a challenge for the Wildcats. Dewey, who was 9-0 to start the year and ranked No. 1 in Class 4, watched as the Wildcats clawed back from an early 4-0 deficit, and later a 9-7 deficit in the bottom of the eighth inning to tie it with two runs of their own. The Wildcats later won it on a walk-off single by Nathan Bankston in the bottom of the 12th to secure the title.
“We expected to come down and have some success and compete,” Wildcats coach Donny Pennington said. “(Friday) we just had a great day at the plate. Our approaches were great. Our pitching was very good. We played well, and I was very proud of the boys. They worked hard to get to this point.”
Page 2 of 2 - Bankston finished with four hits to lead the Wildcats, including a two-run double in the fourth inning. Lett, Kelly and Johnson all had two hits apiece in the game. Johnson contributed two triples.
Parmley started on the mound and allowed six runs (two earned) over three innings with three strikeouts and one walk. Finley threw the next three innings in relief, before later re-entering the game in the ninth and tossing the final four scoreless with five strikeouts and a walk. In all, Parmley whirled seven scoreless innings, allowed six hits, five walks and struck out six.
The Wildcats are back in action on Thursday at the Chandler (Okla.) Tournament.