Forthesecond-straight weekend, the Preston Pirate varsity spring baseball team took home a tournament championship plaque.
The Pirates captured the 2023 Beggs Under Armour Classic title April 1 with a 14-4 win over the host Beggs Golden Demons, then were awarded the championship at the 2nd Annual Bobby Mudd Memorial Tournament in Mounds this past Saturday with an 8-0 win over the Chouteau-Mazie Wildcats.
The Preston diamond squad began their journey towards their second- straight tournament championship with a 16-0 thrashing of Liberty (Mounds) last Thursday, then edged past the Tulsa Edison Eagles by a 7-3 margin in last Friday’s semifinal round.
Chout e au- Ma z i e reached the tournament title game with wins over Okmulgee and the host Mounds Golden Eagles in back-to-back contests last Thursday and Friday.
The Pirates were back in action Monday with a trip to Liberty-Mounds for a repeat battle with the Liberty (Mounds) Tigers and will return home this Thursday to begin participation at the 2023 Dawson Sumner Invitational tournament in Preston.
In last Thursday’s opening-round win over Liberty (Mounds), the Pirates opened the scoring with three runs in the top of the first. The Preston squad then added four in the second for a 7-0 advantage and put the game further out of reach in the top of the third, erupting for nine runs for a 16-0 margin.
The Preston defense kept the Tigers off the scoreboard in the bottom of the third to award the Pirates the 16-0 runrule victory. Braxton Kennedy went the distance on the mound for Preston to earn the pitching decision, striking out two and walking one while tossing three no-hit innings.
The Pirate offensive attack in the opening- round win was led by the trio of Kellen Dean (2 for 4, single, double, RBI), Preston Hale (2 for 2, single, double, 2 RBIs), and Cooper Ausbrooks (2 for 3, 2 singles) with two hits apiece.
The only other Preston base hit against Liberty (Mounds) came on a 2-run double by Noah Wilson.
Kennedy drove in one of the three Preston runs in the first with an RBI groundout, while Luke Hankins (RBI sacrifice fly) and Kaden Dean (RBI groundout) drove in two of the four Pirate runs in the second.
In last Friday’s semifinal win over Tulsa Edison, the Pirates took an early 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first.
After a scoreless second, Tulsa Edison took over the lead, 3-2, with three runs in the top of the third.
The Pirates answered with two runs in the home half of the inning to regain the lead, 4-3, then added three insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth for the 7-3 advantage.
Neither team was able to produce any runs in the final one and one-half innings of regulation to award the Preston diamond squad the 7-3 decision and a spot in the tournament title game.
Jayden Herring earned the pitching win for the Pirates, working three and two-third innings of relief. Herring took over the pitching duties with the bases loaded and one out in the third, walking four and hitting two and did not allow any runs or hits in the relief appearance.
Herring took over for starter Kaden Dean, who gave up three runs on no hits with four strikeouts, four walks, and two hit batters in two and onethird innings of work.
Braxton Kennedy worked a scoreless seventh in relief, giving up just one base hit in the inning of work.
The trio of Kellen Dean (2 for 3, 2 singles, RBI), Kaden Dean (2 for 4, 2 singles, 2 RBIs), and Easton Shaw (2 for 2, 2 singles, 2 RBIs) led the way offensively for the Pirates with two hits apiece. Kellen Dean’s lone RBI came on a game-tying RBI groundout in the third, while Shaw’s two RBIs came on a sacrifice fly in the first and a go-ahead RBI single in the third.
The final two Preston base hits in the semifinal win came on a single by Herring and an RBI double by Luke Hankins.
Kennedy accounted for one of the three runs in the fifth with an RBI sacrifice fly.
In Saturday’s title game against Chouteau-Mazie, the Pirates opened the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the first, then added a run in the third and four in the fourth for a 7-0 advantage. The Preston squad plated a run in the bottom of the fifth to end the game on the run rule, 8-0.
Cooper Ausbrooks was the top hitter for the Pirates in the title win, finishing 2 for 3 with a single, triple, and 3 RBIs, including the game-ending RBI single in the fifth.
Kellen Dean (2 for 3, 2 singles, 2 RBIs), Kaden Dean (2 for 3, single, double, RBI), and Noah Wilson (2 for 3, 2 singles) also recorded multi-hit games for Preston in the title game with two hits each.
The other two Preston base hits against Chouteau-Mazie came on a single by Jayden Herring and a double by Braxton Kennedy.
Herring drove in one of the four runs in the fourth inning with an RBI groundout.
Easton Shaw earned the pitching win for Preston on Saturday, striking out 10 and walking two while allowing just two hits in five shutout innings of work.
— Mounds Tournament First Round
Preston 16, Liberty (Mounds) 0
Preston: 3 – 4 – 9 16 – 7 – 0 Liberty: 0-0-0 0 -0-7 WP: Braxton Kennedy LP: Briscoe HR: None — Semifinals
Preston 7, Tulsa Edison 3
Edison:0-0-3-0-0-0-0 3-1-1 Preston:2-0-2-0-3-0-x 7-8-2 WP: Jayden Herring LP: Dailey HR: None — Championship
Preston 8, Chouteau-Mazie 0
Chouteau:0-0-0-0-0 0- 2 -3 Preston: 2-0-1-4-1 8-10-0 WP: Easton Shaw LP: Chavez HR: None