Lancer Baseball Classic
Mar. 14-17: Reid Park Annex
Enid is located somewhere on the edge of the Great Plains, in the middle of Oklahoma, somewhere between Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Wichita, Kansas. It’s a place known for training military pilots, its abundance of wheat and just under 50,000 hard-working residents. The local high school mascot? The Plainsmen.
Enid is truly small-town America, truly American.
The Plainsmen have struggled to find wins over the last decade, including a 13-17 season last year and that 2016 campaign included a 1-4 record at the Salpointe Lancer Classic held in Tucson, Arizona.
But what a difference a year makes.
The Plainsmen returned to Tucson this past week and left with a 4-1 record and an 8-4 championship over Scottsdale Saguaro Friday night. When the team bus rolls into Enid sometime Saturday afternoon, the Plainsmen will return with a 7-3 record and the hardware and bragging rights that goes along with winning a championship in one of the high school baseball capitals of the world.
“We knew from the beginning we had a chance,” said sophomore pitcher Ambren Voitik. “This was just crazy. We are from a small town and we won in one of the biggest ball parks.”
Ambren picked up the win over Saguaro in four innings of work. He limited the Sabercats to one unearned run and only two hits through the first three innings until a leadoff triple from Rhett Holmes gave the Sabercats hope in the bottom of the fourth.
Saguaro collected four hits and scored two runs in the inning to cut the Enid lead down to 5-3 and the Sabercats added another run in the fifth to make it 5-4.
The Plainsmen scored a run in the top of the first and another in the second but the team exploded for five hits in the fourth to take what looked like a runaway lead at 5-1 but the Sabercats responded as you can see.
Ambren handed the ball to Koby Hudson in the fifth and Hudson gave up the one run and that was it. Enid added another run in the sixth and two more in the seventh for the 8-4 win.
The Sabercats won back-to-back state championships in 2010 and 2011 and recorded 23 wins only three years ago but, like Enid, this year has been a struggle. The team arrived in Tucson with a 2-8 record and things weren’t looking very promising.
“We came in struggling to find wins especially with all of our one-run losses,” head coach Joe Muecke. “But we came together as a team this week and we accomplished everything we set out to do.”
The Sabercats have four losses on their record by only one run but four wins at the Lancer Classic, including a 7-6 win over Salpointe in the semifinal round, might be the remedy the team is looking for.
Holmes went 3-for-4 with a triple and an RBI to lead the Sabercats. Nick Barendrick went 2-4 as did Matthew Noriega.
Voitik picked up the win but he also went 2-4 at the plate with two doubles. Conner Gore went 2-4 with an RBI, CJ Arndt had an RBI double, Hayden Priest had two doubles and two RBI and Hudson went 2-3 with two RBI.
“They needed me to do whatever it took to help our team,” Voitik added. “Our defense played well and we hit the ball. This was special”
Enid (OK) 7, Sunnyside 4
Saguaro 7, Salpointe 6
Enid 8, Saguaro 4