A two-run top of the seventh inning bolted from the Santa Fe dugout Tuesday night, helping the Wolves drop the hosting Deer Creek Antlers on a 3-1 final.
Santa Fe’s deciding inning started on a walk Tuesday. Four straight balls were issued to the pinch-hitting Travis Dexter, and Drew Qualls moved him into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt.
Another walk issued to Santa Fe leadoff Dom Johnson came, but two-hole batter Tyler Rust lurched a double to left field. The hit scored Dexter, and moved Johnson to third.
Santa Fe’s Morgan Lunceford hit an RBI-single to right field two batters later, scoring Johnson to give the Wolves a one-out insurance run.
Deer Creek looked poised to answer early after the top of the order came up to start the the seventh, with leadoff batter Bryce Logan reaching base on a second-pitch single to center field.
But Qualls had other plans. Now acting as Santa Fe’s man on the mound, he grabbed back-to-back strikeouts before retiring Jack Hill on a grounder to the right side of the infield. The out left Deer Creek’s ninth stranded runner standing on the bases.
Tuesday’s game was fraught with runners left on base. Both sides left a total of nine, and a majority of those came from walks. Counting three walks in the top of the seventh, the Wolves ultimately saw eight take a base on balls in the win; Deer Creek saw nine batters, including everyone batting in the one- through six-holes take a base the same way.
Nixon Petit led the Wolves in getting on base in the win. He saw three walks in four trips to the plate Tuesday. Dom Johnson, Tyler Rust, Cayden Brumbaugh and Lunceford all reached twice, though, with each of Santa Fe’s first four batters registering a hit in Tuesday’s win.
Deer Creek was also led by a walk-grabber, but he’d have to share the on-base spotlight. Hagen Lisenmeyer reached thrice on walks, with his teammate and Deer Creek leadoff Bryce Logan hitting a game-best two singles.
Ethan Boyer was the only other Antler to record a hit in the two-run loss.
While the middle innings were found vacant on the scoreboard, each team put a run across in the first inning Tuesday. Brumbaugh reached on a two-out single in the top of the first before he crossed home on a pitching-catching error for the game’s first run.
Deer Creek answered that run with a score of their own. Logan led the Antlers’ offense off with a single in the first, and he’d end up at third before the bases were loaded on two more walks. A third walk came in with Lisenmeyer at the plate, and his RBI-walk evened things up at one run early.
Qualls was credited with Tuesday’s win after he threw three innings, allowing one hit, one walk and struck out three batters. Santa Fe’s Logan Lunceford started for the Wolves on Tuesday, tossing four innings and 71 pitches, allowing two hits and an earned run.
Deer Creek’s pitching tandem tied for 14 strikeouts in the loss. Keaton Ruthardt started on the mound and stayed there for four innings Tuesday. It took him 66 pitches, but he’d strike out eight and allow only a single earned run. Jack Hill, in relief, threw three and struck out six, but he allowed three hits and two earned runs.
Next for the Class 6A defending state champion Edmond Santa Fe is a home contest against Choctaw on Friday at 5 p.m. Deer Creek’s next contest comes Thursday, against the Putnam City West Patriots, at home with first pitch coming at 4:30 p.m.