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BA scoring runs, making pitches heading into spring break

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It was an inauspicious start to a baseball season monikered by the hashtag “unfinishedbusiness.”

Since the 9-0 loss to one of the state’s best pitchers, Stillwater’s Drew Blake, the 2020 Broken Arrow Tigers have scored 49 runs in five games and will take a 4-2 record into spring break.

The Tigers put a season-best 13 runs against Bartlesville’s top pitcher, Braden Rigdon, in the first of two district-wins over the Bruins earlier this week. After sweeping the Bruins, 13-5 and 11-0, Broken Arrow is tied with Stillwater atop the district. Broken Arrow bounced back in its second game against the Pioneer, winning 8-3, to get a series split.

“They had a guy that was pretty decent on the mound and we were able to get on him a little bit at their place,” Coach Shannon Dobson said about the Tigers win at Bartlesville. “We got in better hitting counts. We didn’t get behind and have to fight off a lot of two strike pitches.”

Pitching and hitting the Tigers to victory in was Ryan Lynn. In his two starts, Lynn has allowed just two earned runs in 12 innings. With a batting average of .467 and a .609 on-base percentage, he also the team’s leading hitter.

“Ryan was really efficient on the mound,” Dobson said about his outing against Stillwater, in which he threw just 66 pitches in six innings. “He did a good job keeping us in the game and allowing us to get some runs. He’s probably been our most consistent guy, along with Peyton Messinger, as far as at the plate. He has done a great job for us on both sides, at the plate and pitching. When not on the mound, Lynn starts at first base.

Since that first loss, in which the Tigers committed more errors (four) than had hits (three) and the inexplicable six-error game in the 9-7 loss to Bixby, Dobson is seeing things that give him a good feeling about this team.

“We’re not going to be a team who gets off the bus and scares anybody,” he said. “It’s the same as last year: We’ve got to execute, do little things right, throw strikes, play defense, and if we do those things then I think we’ll have a chance to win every game. If we don’t there will be times we could get beat pretty bad.”

The team will not be taking its usual spring break trip this season. What Dobson had called a “staple to our program,” certainly understands the district's safety precautions.  

After spring break, Broken Arrow is scheduled for two games with Enid – March 23 on the road and March 24 at home. March 26-28 the Tigers cohost the BA-Jenks Classic.

“I think you’ll see a club that understands itself,” Dobson said about the next time the Tigers take the field. “It will be a club that better understands what its strengths are and what we need to know in certain situations. Hopefully, we can get in position to host a regional and get a chance to get into the state tournament.”

And then, the goal is, take care of some unfinished business.