Guy Ellis

The Tulsa NOAH (Northeastern Oklahoma Association of Homeschools) Jaguars won the 2008 Ketchum High School 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. Ketchum baseball head coach Mark Knoten and his assistants Sam Banker, and Ryan Rogers, as well as the Warriors baseball team, did a magnificent job to prepare the KHS baseball field for the event. Seven schools played twelve games over two days on a field that earlier in the week looked more like a swamp than the pristine baseball diamond presented over the course of the weekend.

The 2008 Classic featured Salina, Commerce, Foyil, and Chelsea as well as the host Warriors and eventual finalists Tulsa NOAH and Fairland Owls.

Ketchum opened play in the Classic in a 10 AM date Friday morning against Commerce. The Warriors held a large lead late in the game before the Tigers rallied back in the seventh to pull out a 10-9 win.

Late rallies were the order of the day as Salina put up some late runs to overtake Chelsea 11-7 in Fridayís second match-up.

The Fairland Owls were up next on Friday and they sailed past the Foyil Panthers 13-1 in three innings.

Freshman Jesse Drosche posted the win for Fairland with two strikeouts, a walk, and four hits in three innings. The Owls put up nine runs on six hits in the first inning and followed that up with a 4-hit, 3-run third to post the run-ruled win.

Against the Panthers Fairland senior Seth Bunce went 3 for 4 with 2 RBIís and a run. Blake Robertson went 2 for 4 with 2 RBIís and a run. Stevie Nowlin went 2 for 2 with 2 runs and an RBI. Yancey Lett went 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI. Casey Robertson put up two runs and an RBI.

The Salina Wildcats returned to the diamond Friday afternoon to begin second round play in the winnersí bracket against Tulsa NOAH, who received a bye in the first round. The Wildcats were game but fell 4-3.

Fridayís fifth game saw the host Warriors go up against Foyil in a losersí bracket play-in game. Ketchum held off a late Panther charge to take the 7-6 win and stay alive in the tournament. Jake Brown was the winning pitcher for the Warriors.

The final game on Friday saw Fairland sweep Commerce 6-1 to set the stage for Saturdayís match-up between the Owls and Jaguars for a birth into the Championship Game.

Senior Casey Robertson took the win for Fairland with six strikeouts, one hit, three walks, and no earned runs in five innings. The Owl bats put up three runs in the third and another three in the fifth to take the run-ruled win.

Fairland senior Chuck Cassinelli went 1 for 1 with an RBI against Commerce. Jordan Alexander scored 2 RBIís. Casey Robertson went 1 for 2 with 2 RBIís and a run.

Saturdayís first game saw the home Warriors eliminated from the Classic in a 7-4 loss to Salina.

Following that game Chelsea eliminated Commerce in a 4-0 game.

The matinee game on Saturday was the Fairland-Tulsa NOAH contest for a birth in the Championship Game. The Jaguars took an early lead and never looked back to take a 10-2 win. The loss moved the Owls to the losersí bracket with another shot at the Championship Game by dint of playing the winner of the Salina-Chelsea game.

That game was a 10-9 win for the Wildcats who had to turn around and face the Owls. It was the third game of the day for Salina and Fairland cruised to an 11-3 win to set up the re-match with Tulsa-NOAH in the Championship Game.

In the Championship Tulsa-NOAH sprinted out to a 6-0 lead after one inning. But the Owls settled down and held the Jaguars scoreless for the next four innings with Brett Blalock on the mound in relief while Fairland put up a run of their own 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.