Apr. 24—Zac Carroll helped make sure the Ada High baseball team was successful on Senior Night.
Carroll, one of five seniors honored during a pregame ceremony, was the winning pitcher and Ada's top hitter in the Cougars' 9-0 win over Tecumseh Thursday night at Cougar Field.
Ada improved to 16-17 on the season, while Tecumseh left town at 16-16.
The Cougars have quietly put together four consecutive strong outings where they've outscored their opponents 48-1.
Ada head coach Shane Coker believes that his team could be peaking at just the right time.
"I'd like to think the way we've played over the last 10 days is maybe the beginning of our peak," he said. "We're getting production from all parts of our lineup right now. Our pitchers are throwing really well. Going into playoffs, we'd like to build on the little bit of momentum we've built right here in the end."
In the win over the Savages, Carroll struck out seven, walked three and allowed just one hit — a one-out, infield single by D Graham in the top of the fourth inning — in five strong innings. Carroll also finished 3-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored from the top of the Cougars' batting order. He also swiped two more bases, running his season total to 31.
Five other Ada players had hits for the Cougars. Hunter Condon finished 1-for-2 with two RBIs and a walk. Carter Freeland went 1-for-2 with an RBI, Jack Morris finished 1-3 with two runs scored. Cade Sligher went 1-for-2 with a walk, an RBI and two runs scored. Caden Ross ended up 1-for-3 with a run scored and a stole base.
Treston Eaker drew a pair of walks and scored a run.
Ada will host Wright City in a playoff tuneup game at 4:30 p.m. Monday at Cougar Field.
The Byng Pirates didn't come through for the Cougars Thursday night. Byng ended up splitting with District 4A-3 foe Plainview at Stokes Field. Byng won the opener 8-7 and lost Game 2 11-8.
That means Ada will finish fourth in the district standings instead of third and dramatically changes the Cougars' playoff path. A third-place finished would have meant the Cougars would host an 8-win Woodward club in a Bi-District Tournament matchup. Now, if everything shakes out like Coker believes it will, tradition-rich private school Bishop McGuinness will visit Cougar Field next week for a Bi-District showdown.
If Ada wins a Bi-District title, the Cougars would advance to a regional tournament at Tuttle. A third-place finish in 4A-3 would have sent Ada to Weatherford.
The Cougars wouldn't have needed Byng's help at all if they hadn't been forced to forfeit a 13-1 win over Plainview due to an ineligible player last Monday.
"The baseball gods were not going to let that go unpunished I guess," Coker said. "The biggest difference isn't the Bi-District draw. Tuttle is 35-2 and ranked seventh in the nation."
Coker said his team will control what it can control moving forward.
"I've been doing this a long time. I've never cared who we played. You have to beat them all anyway," he said. "It is what it is. We're going to have to play really, really well to be playing past next week and the week after that we would have to be playing astronomically well. ... Which could happen."