QUAPAW — After surviving a rocky first quarter, right-hander Yancey Lett and Fairland came to life and rolled to an 11-3 victory over Oklahoma Union in the championship game of the Quapaw Tournament.
“Yancey really did well for us — it was his best start of the season,” Fairland coach Jerry Johnson said. “It started a little tough. He pitched well, but we just made a couple bad decisions. Once we got out of the first inning, he went 1-2-3 every inning after that.”
Lett struck out 10, including the last two in the opening frame after OU had scratched out its only three runs of the night.
The Cougars parlayed a walk, two single, hit batter and two errors into its three runs.
Lett needed just six pitches to get things righted, striking out Matt Woolfolk and Jake Lowery, starting a run of 17 straight batters he retired.
“Yancey did a good job of not allowing more than three in the first — that would have been tough to overcome,” Johnson said.
The Owls got the game tied in the third inning on an error and a two-run single by Lett.
Then in the sixth, Fairland erupted for eight runs, sending 12 batters to the plate. The Owls had only two hits, RBI singles by Casey Robertson and Jordan Alexander, but they took advantage of two errors, five walks and a hit batter.
Alexander’s two-out hit ended the game.
“We stranded a few early, but we couldn’t get the base hit when we needed it,” Johnson said. “We finally got it tied up in the third and started getting on their pitching in the sixth.”
In addition to Lett’s three hits, Robertson, Alexander, Cale Schumacher and Blake Robertson added singles.
Oklahoma Union’s three pitchers — Joey Kuehn, ace Dylan Rogers and Dakota Gunn — issued six walks and hit one. Rogers, who had throttled Wyandotte in Wednesday’s opener, faced only six batters before being relieved by Gunn.
“After that rough first, Yancey did well and we played good defense behind him,” Johnson said. “It was his best outing of the year. He led us at the plate, too.”
Offensively, Lett went 3-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored and four RBIs.
The title was the second straight at Quapaw for the Owls, who had beaten Wyandotte in last year’s championship game.
The win also clinched the Lucky 7 Conference title for Fairland. The tournament doubled as the league’s championship.
FHS entertains Commerce Monday in a Lucky 7 game.