NORMAN — Norman High had a difficult time putting runs on the board in two losses to Norman North at the beginning of the week, something coach Pete Sangirardi hoped to see improve in two weekend games.
And the Tigers didn’t disappoint. They followed up an 11-0 win over Putnam City on Friday at Bricktown Ballpark with another barrage of offense in a 12-4 victory over El Reno on Saturday.
Paul Reed said the atmosphere in Bricktown keyed the Tigers (3-3) to the win and that momentum carried into Saturday’s game.
“It was quite the experience in Bricktown,” the junior pitcher said. “Coming out at night with the lights on, it was something that we all took a moment to just take in. It’s something everyone hopes to experience. And it was nice that we came out and played well.”
Reed was a major part of that. He went 3-for-3 at the plate and struck out nine in a complete game on the mound. While many of the players who took the field under the bright lights were nervous, Reed said he was able to feed off the environment.
“It made me more calm,” he said. “I didn’t have to worry about anything and I loved playing on that big field. I’m honored I was able to pitch in that game. I gave it my all and it turned out well.”
The Tigers avoided a letdown on Saturday, coming out just as strongly against El Reno. NHS put up four runs in the first inning on the way to the five-inning run-rule victory.
NHS got plenty of help from El Reno. Four Indians pitchers combined to walk 11 Tiger batters and hit another four with pitches. NHS used that to its full advantage, scoring runs in four of the five innings played. Albert Miller led the Tigers at the plate, going 2 for 4 and tallying 3 RBIs, including two on a two-out, bases-loaded single in the first inning. Austin Stewart went three innings without allowing a hit to pick up the win.
“We played well this weekend,” Sangirardi said. “We’re starting to hit the ball, and when you hit the ball you’ve at least got a 50-50 chance of getting on base. Today we were hitting it hard at people, which is what we want to do.”
The Tigers have a few days off before heading to Catoosa for a tournament. Their first game is 4 p.m. Thursday at Lincoln Christian and Reed is confident the Tigers will continue playing well.
“We’ve lost three games by one run,” he said. “The win Friday was the momentum boost we needed and we carried that into today. I think we’ll build on this going into next week.”
Follow me @Chosler88