Sapulpa Chieftains win first installment of Highway 97 rivalry, thanks to late Sandite error

Senior pitcher Josh Cordell struck out six Chieftains in the 1-0 Saturday loss, giving up only two hits. (Photo: Scott Emigh).

Senior pitcher Josh Cordell struck out six Chieftains in the 1-0 Saturday loss, giving up only two hits. (Photo: Scott Emigh).

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Charles Page High School varsity baseball team (1-1) suffered their first loss of the season Saturday afternoon at the hands of their biggest rivals. The Sandites and Sapulpa Chieftains (1-0) were all locked up and scoreless till the bottom of the seventh inning when the home team drew a lucky break to clinch the victory. 

Senior Josh Cordell (0-0) got the start on the mound and gave up two hits and one walk against six strikeouts before being relieved in the seventh inning. Brock Youngblood (0-1) came in for the final stretch and suffered the loss with a single hit. 

Senior shortstop Mack Thompson started things off for the Sandites with a ground ball single into left field, but was left stranded after stealing second as the next three hitters all flied out. 

Sapulpa starting pitcher Jacob Esch walked Ian Baker and Ben Banker in the second inning but managed to strand both with a strikeout. The first Chieftain hit came in the bottom of the inning on a line drive double into left field from Gage Williams, but nothing would come of it.

The back and forth exchange continued with neither team finding home plate.

Both teams went through the entire game without committing a single error, right down to the final stretch. Then Sapulpa nearly got themselves in trouble in the top of the seventh. After the first two Sandites grounded out, Cal Watkins reached on an error by relief pitcher Robert Lino, then advanced to second on yet another error. The home team pulled out of it, however, and stranded Watkins on second as Treyce Tolbert grounded out to Lino.

Alan Shibley came in clutch for the Chieftains, sending a fly ball to center field for a double. This time it was the Sandites' turn to commit an error as William returned to the plate and sent a ground ball to third baseman Hunter Greathouse. Greathouse sent the fielder's choice to second, but overthrew Watkins, giving Shibley time to round home plate for the walk off victory. 

Sand Springs will return to action Monday evening with their district-debut against Enid (0-2 overall, 0-2 district) at home. Sapulpa will host Deer Creek (0-0) for their first district game of the season, also on Monday. The Highway 97 rivals will get a rematch on March 31st, this time on the Sandites' home field.