WARNER — Eric Kirkpatrick got to say hello to the left field fence at Biff Thompson Field a little earlier than he planned.
The Sequoyah graduate and soon-to-be Connors Cowboy lined a two run homer over that fence for what proved to be the winning runs for the Oklahoma Navy team in helping them to two victories in the second round of the 12th Annual Heartland All-Star Classic Tournament.
Kirkpatrick’s blast gave the Navy a 3-1 win over the Green team and BJ Morris struck out 13 batters in the second game as Navy defeated the Oklahoma Purple team 5-3 in eight innings. Those wins set up Navy, coached by Oktaha native Jared Webster and last year’s runner-up, for a pool championship game with Oklahoma Red at 11:30 a.m. today.
“I was excited about it,” said a happy Kirkpatrick. “Now I know I can hit them out of here. I’m sure I’ll see better pitching at the next level but I’m ready.”
After spotting the Green team a run in the first inning, Navy loaded the bases in the home half of the first on a walk and a pair of hits before Green pitcher Tuff Parsons hit Kolby Rankin to force in the tying run.
It stayed tied until the third inning when, with two outs, Morris, from Wynnewood, singled and Kirkpatrick launched his 350 foot bullet that just cleared the fence in left center.
Green had an opportunity in the fourth inning as Kenton Spears lead off with a walk. One out later, Okay’s Nathan Dillon hit an opposite field double to left. But Spears was cut down at the plate trying to score on a relay from Morris, who played shortstop in the first game.
Dillon, who is headed to Bacone to play baseball next season, was glad for the opportunity to showcase his talents even though his Green team lost.
“It’s a privilege to be in this series. It really means a lot,” said Dillon.
In the second game, Navy staked Morris to an early lead as they scored in the first inning on an RBI single by Wagoner’s Justin Ferrell, who was two-for-three in the game.
They had a chance to blow it open in the third inning when, with a runner at first and two outs, they banged out four straight hits to score a pair of runs and had the bases loaded. But Brody Clay from Stilwell popped out to end the inning with Navy out in front 3-0.
Morris ran into some difficulty in the fourth inning as an outfield error, a double by Cody McNeal and a single by Tanner Coy allowed the Purple to pull to within one at 3-2. But Morris rose to the occasion striking out the next three batters to end the threat.
Meanwhile, Purple pitcher Braden Fields of Shidler limited Navy to just two hits from the fourth through the sixth inning when his teammates tied the game on a walk, a base hit and a costly error by center fielder Ricky Hosack. Purple threatened in the seventh inning, but, with one out and runners at the corners, Morris struck out the next two batters to send the game into extra innings.
Purple got a run in the top of the eighth as John Cheek led off with a double down the third base line and later scored on a single by Cody McNeal. But Navy took the game in the home half of the eighth after the first two batters singled and Morris cleared the bases with a double to the wall in center.
Hilldale, which beat Oklahoma Royal 10-2 and White 11-3, will win its pool and a spot in the 2:30 p.m. championship game at Connors State with a win against Oklahoma Maroon at 11:30 a.m., at Hilldale. However, an Oklahoma White win over Oklahoma Teal in an earlier game would also help Hilldale, which at that point would have a huge edge in a three-way tiebreaker should it lose to Maroon.
Friday’s Late Game
Warner 8, Green 7
At Hilldale HS
Red 10, Orange 1
Hilldale 10, Royal 2
Red 10, Gold 5
Maroon 17, Royal 10
Hilldale 11, White 3
At Warner HS
White 15, Black 7
Black 9, Teal 1
Warner 16, Orange 8
Warner 7, Gold 6
At Connors State
Maroon 7, Teal 2
Green 10, Purple 7
Navy 3, Green 1
Navy 5, Purple, 8 inn.
At Bacone College
Purple vs. Gold, 9 a.m.
Royal vs. Black, 11:30 a.m.
At Hilldale HS
Green vs. Orange, 9 a.m.
Hilldale vs. Maroon, 11:30 a.m.
At Connors State
White vs. Teal, 9 a.m.
Navy vs. Red, 11:30 a.m.
Championship Game, 2:30 p.m.