Great pitching from Rhett Rutledge not enough to hold off Fayetteville

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Charles Page High School varsity baseball team (20-12) has been on a bit of a downward slope these last few weeks. After going 13-4 in the first month of the season, the boys seem to have lost some steam as they moved into April. After beating Muskogee by a combined 43-1 over three games, it appeared that the Sandites were on top of the world. Since then, they've gone 2-7, and were most recently dropped 4-2 by Bentonville (14-7) and 8-1 by Fayetteville (16-9). 

Fayetteville jumped on their Oklahoma adversaries early on in their weekend game, running up a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Josh Cordell (2-3) got the start and the loss on the mound. Thomas Broyles hit a home run to score Garrett Owens and Robbie Briggs scored on an error at short stop. 

The top of the second was a no-hitter for the Sandites, and the Purple Bulldogs loaded the bases with two singles and two walks to score DeShawn McCoard. Cody Smith scored on a passed ball and Broyles walked to load the bases once more. Cordell was relieved by Rhett Rutledge (1-1). 

Rutledge immediately went to work on improving the situation, striking out Braden Jordan, but Briggs hit a sacrifice fly to score Joey Savin. Hayes Cox singled to score Owens for the 7-0 advantage before Rutledge struck out McCoard to bring the melee to an end. 

The game evened out from there, but the Sand Springs boys were battling from a deep hole, and despite improving on their fielding and pitching, they still couldn't get many hits off the impressive Bulldog pitchers. 

Fayetteville put four on the mound over the course of the game. Savin, Cox, and Chase Arnold pitched an inning each, while Joey Davenport got the start and win, allowing just two hits over four innings. 

Trevor Tolbert landed a single in the top of the third, but was left stranded. The next inning and a half were no-hitters for both teams as Rutledge picked up a trio of strikeouts and Davenport got one as well. 

The Sandites finally found their way onto the scoreboard in the top of the fifth as Savin came out of the bullpen and gave up a single to Hunter Greathouse, a double to Jake Terry, and a sacrifice fly to Ty Fain that brought in Greathouse to make it 7-1. 

The Dogs retaliated in the bottom of the inning, however, as Cox tripled and came in on a single by McCoard for the final score of 8-1. Greathouse also saw pitching action in the sixth inning and picked up three strikeouts against one hit.

The boys are currently sitting fourth in their district with a 6-5 record and only three games left in the regular season. Top-seeded Owasso (21-5, 9-1) will travel to Sand Springs Monday evening at 7:00, then Sand Springs will visit the Rams' diamond on Tuesday for the district finale. 

Photo galleries from the 2016 Sandite Baseball season can be found at