KETCHUM - The Tulsa Northeastern Oklahoma Association of Homeschools (NOAH) Jaguars won the 2008 Ketchum Hardball Classic baseball tournament with a 9-1 victory in the championship game over Fairland Saturday night.
Due to heavy rains in the early part of last week the Classic was delayed by one day, with games commencing on Friday.
The tournament featured Salina, Commerce, Foyil, and Chelsea as well as the host Warriors and eventual finalists Tulsa NOAH and Fairland Owls.
“It was good for us,” Fairland coach Jerry Johnson said. “We wanted to see some good pitching and some different people.”
NOAH had bumped the Owls into the losers' bracket with a 10-2 victory earlier Saturday.
Fairland remained alive with an 11-3 win over Salina, which also was playing its third game of the day.
“We just shot ourselves in the foot in both games with NOAA,” Johnson said. “We gave up eight runs the first time we played them, then held them to two the rest of the game. Then the second time we played them, we gave up six in the first.”
The Owls' only run in the championship game came in the bottom of the second.
In the sixth inning, the Jaguars took advantage of some Fairland errors and put up three more runs to cement the 9-1 final.
Doubles by Yancey Lett and Casey Robertson were the Owls' only hits.
“They had awfully good pitching - probably the best we've seen on the year,” Johnson said. “They had two or three kids who put it up there. They could change speeds and they could throw strikes.”
In the win over Salina, Bunce went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and Cale Schumaker collected two doubles. Casey Robertson had a triple and two RBIs while Chuck Cassinelli had a two-run double.
Yancey Lett, Stevie Nowlin and Reid Vanhoose chipped in with singles.
“We got on them right off the bat,” Johnson said. “We really hit the ball well throughout the tournament.”
In the earlier meeting, the Jaguars took an early lead and never looked back.
The Owls had only three hits in the game - singles by Seth Bunce, Blake Robertson and Casey Robertson.
“We were hitting it pretty good, but they great job on defense,” Johnson said. “We only struck out three times.”
In first-round games Friday, it was Commerce 10, Ketchum 9; Salina 11, Chelsea 7 and Fairland 13, Foyil 11.
NOAA clipped Salina 4-3 and the Owls defeated Commerce 6-1 in semifinal games Friday while Ketchum held off Foyil 7-6 in an elimination game.
Chelsea eliminated Commerce with a 4-0 victory, then Salina held on for a 10-9 decision over Chelsea, setting up the elimination game with Fairland.
Fairland travels to Adair today.
Commerce is idle until Wednesday, when it faces Colcord at noon in a first round Quapaw Tournament game.