Cooper Smith saved his best at-bat and his most clutch pitches for the last inning Friday.
Because he did, Marlow picked up its 11th straight victory and moved into the championship game of its own tournament.
In the title game, Marlow hoped to extend an 11-game winning streak and claim the championship of its own tournament, but couldn’t solve Ft. Cobb-Broxton ace Jaxon Willits or reliever Blaine Bellamy.
The duo pitchers held Marlow to four hits and the Mustangs won 4-1 in the title game of Marlow High School’s baseball tournament.
In the semi-final game, the Marlow right hander in Smith broke open the game with a two-out, three-RBI double in the top of the seventh inning and then took to the mound and cut short a Bishop McGuinness rally in the bottom of the final frame, as the Outlaws won the semifinal game, 6-5.
The semifinal matchup featured a pitchers’ duel through five innings, as Marlow starter Kole Seeley and McGuinness starter Aiden Haworth spun gems. But rain moved over the field in the fifth inning, the ball became harder to grip, arms grew weary, and bats came alive.
McGuinness scored an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 2.
Marlow, the visiting team by decision of a coin flip, faced its possible last at-bat in the top of the seventh. Nine-hole hitter Kyle Wilson struck out to start the inning, and then Seeley singled. Brennan Morgan followed with a walk, and Will Bergner singled to left to load the bases.
Tyler Callahan faced an 0-2 count with two outs when McGuinness reliever Kevin Cochran hit him with a pitch, bringing Seeley home from third.
With the bases still loaded and the Outaws leading 3-2, Smith smacked the next pitch to the left field gap. The ball rolled to the wall — and Morgan, Bergner and Callahan all scored on the double, giving Marlow a 6-2 advantage.
Avery Payne followed with a walk, but Cochran got Cade Gilbert on a grounder to the short stop for the third out.
The Outlaws sent nine batters to the plate in the seventh inning, garnering four runs on three hits.
But McGuinness answered in the bottom half. Smith strikeout Cole Grundy to start the inning, but Keller Anderson reached on an error. When Smith struck out the next batter, Lon Chambers, on three pitches, it looked like it might be a quick inning.
Instead, Ben Corely and Augusts Schroder each singled to load the bases, and a three-hole hitter followed with a three-RBI double to left field cut the deficit to one. With the tying run on second, Smith got cleanup hitter Brody Houser on a groundout to second to end the game.
Seeley went five innings and allowed just one run on four hits and two walks. He struck out seven. Mason Holding pitched the sixth inning for the Outlaws and did not allow an earned run or a walk. Smith gave up three earned runs on four hits and no walks in the seventh. He struck out two.
Seeley and Morgan, hitting one-two in the lineup, each had two hits and scored two runs for the Outlaws. Smith, Bergner, Callahan, Payne and Jace Gilbert all had hits.
Going down 3-0 early in the title game, Marlow answered in the fourth inning when Brennan Morgan opened the frame with a double to left field. He scored four batters later when Baker dropped a sure out at first base, allowing Tyler Callahan to reach safely and keep the inning alive. Then, Willits struck out Avery Payne on three pitches to end the threat.
Ft. Cobb-Broxton added a run in the fifth inning when Bergner, who relieved Holding in the fifth inning, hit Brayden Davis with one out. Tanner McAdoo followed with a walk, and Willits spanked an RBI-single to left to plate Davis.
Holding took the loss, going four innings and giving up two earned runs on eight hits and two walks. He struck out one. Bergner allowed one earned run in three innings of work. He had one walk and one strikeout.
Marlow leadoff hitter Kole Seeley had two of the Outlaws’ four hits. He ledoff the bottom of the first with a single and added another single in the fifth frame. Morgan and Jace Gilbert each had doubles.
Davis, hitting in the eight-hole, did the most damage for Ft. Cobb-Broxton. He went 3-for-3 with two runs scored. Willits was 2-for-5 with one RBI, and Blayke Devaughan went 2-for-4 with one run scored and one RBI.