Rhett Rutledge leads Sandites to 6-3 playoff win over Broken Arrow

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Charles Page High School baseball team (22-14) got off to a great start in the Regional Tournament at Owasso's Stigall Field Thursday afternoon, taking a quick lead over the Broken Arrow Tigers (21-15) that propelled them to a 6-3 victory.

Rhett Rutledge (3-1) got the start and win on the mound while Colton Croft came out with the loss.

The first two innings were scoreless for both teams, but Joey Montgomery broke the game open with a single scoring Rutledge. Hunter Greathouse doubled to bring in Josh Taber and Mack Thompson hit a sacrifice fly to score Malachi Walton.

Broken Arrow nearly got in a bind in the top of the fourth as the Sandites loaded the bases with their top batter at the plate, but Croft pulled off the impressive strikeout to save the inning. The bottom of the fourth belonged to the Tigers as well, as Devon Johnson scored on a double by Mack Chambers to get the team on the board.

A series of mistakes handed the Sandites another run in the top of the sixth. Rutledge hit a hard double to the centerfield fence, advanced to third on a balk, and scored on an error in left field for the 4-1 advantage.

The Tigers threatened in the bottom of the sixth as Johnson singled, Tucker Dunlap drew a walk, and Chambers reached on an error to load the bases with a single out. Drew Lowe hit a sacrifice fly to score Johnson. Kade Goines walked to reload the bases and Evan Fulps drew the full count walk to score pinch runner Declan Spurlock. Landon Hulet was next to the plate and hit a grounder to short stop for the force at second to end the inning with Sandites riding a close 4-3 lead.

Treyce Tolbert reached base on balls to start the seventh, Greathouse hit a single, and Jake Ward was hit by pitch to load the bases. Keaton Stamp went to the mound for the Tigers, but was unable to prevent runs as Mack Thompson sacrificed to bring in Tolbert and Ty Fain sacrificed to score Greathouse for a 6-3 advantage.

It came down to the bottom of the seventh for the Tigers. Brady Bean flied out to center field and Croft grounded out to short stop. Johnson got on base with a bunt to third but Dunlap hit a pop fly to end the game.

The Sandites will get only a brief rest before taking on the Owasso Rams (27-6) in round three. The Rams defeated Sapulpa in the first round of the Regional, and have two wins over the Sandites this season. Just last week the Sandites threatened to upset the top-seeded team in a close 11-10 home field loss, but were handily defeated 11-2 the following day in Owasso. If the Sandites defeat Owasso in this game, they'll have a rematch Thursday at 7:30 PM. If they lose to Owasso, they'll play either Sapulpa or Broken Arrow Thursday at 5:00 PM.