Edmond North’s Ben MacNaughton salvaged a 6A-1 district clash when his third hit of the night went out to right field, scoring a walk-off run and preserving North’s unblemished district record by beating the second best team in the group, Mustang, 8-7 on Monday night.
MacNaughton’s hit came in the bottom of the 7th inning, and the line drive scored Brett Smith. Smith reached on a leadoff double before being sacrifice bunted to third by Alex Kramer. The walk-off broke a 7-all tie, and came with a single out on the scoreboard.
The hit held on to what was an early, 7-4 lead for North after the Huskies plated five runs in the bottom of the 4th. MacNaughton again played a part, singling to lead off the inning, and Sutton Hess, Colby Entwistle and Ryan Harris all followed suit with singles. The latter two came on infield bunts, and Harris’ hit scored MacNaughton.
The next three Husky batters then hammered in runs, with Karsten Menard doubling on an 0-1 count that saw Hess and Entwistle cross home. Mason Carrier then singled in Harris just before Janson Reeder sacrificed in Menard for the Huskies’ fifth run of the frame.
Mustang scored once in the 6th and twice in the 7th to tie it, but Drew London came in to shut that stuff down. Two runners crossed after he took over in the 6th — neither were on his stat sheet with one an error and another starting pitcher Braden Hill’s responsibility — before the closer struck out the side in the top of the 7th. The performance set the stage for MacNaughton’s heroics. London retired the last four Mustang batters via strikeout, recording four Ks on only six seen batters.
MacNaughton was 3-for-4 on the day, grabbing the game-winning RBI along with a triple in the bottom of the 5th. Carrier hit in all four of his at-bats, grabbing an RBI and a double, and Karsten Menard had a team-high two RBIs in a 1-for-3 day.
The win helped alleviate pains from a turbulent Central Oklahoma Association Conference tournament weekend, and the outcome also helped North clinch the top-spot in their district. Coming into Monday’s meeting, only two games separated the Huskies from Mustang, with the two teams playing a home-and-home on Monday and Tuesday evenings.
MacNaughton’s winner knocked Mustang down to 10 wins, three losses and simultaneously kept North at an unblemished 12-0 in district play, rendering the outcome of Tuesday’s contest, which happened after deadline for Wednesday’s Sun, almost irrelevant. Had Mustang won on Monday, the Bronchos could have tied the district with a sweeping win on Tuesday.