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May 3, 2014

Salina roars past Nowata for regional bid

SALINA, OK — Salina poured on nine runs in the first inning to coast to a 14-2 win over Nowata in a Class 3A district elimination game Friday at Sam Baker Stadium.

The Backward cousins, Cale and Coby, combined to go 4-for-8 with a double and a triple to lead Salina to its second-straight win and a Class 3A regional.

"They outplayed us in that first game and they beat us, plain and simple," Salina head coach Matt Simmons said. "We showed some character in that second game. That's baseball. Anybody can get beat on any given day."

Kyle Johnson earned the win, allowing four hits. His only major miscue was a two-run home run to Bryce Bell in the second inning.

Chase Mellowbug also doubled for the Wildcats, who drew five walks in the first inning alone.

Game 2: Salina 10, Nowata 4 (Thursday)

Colton Burgess launched a two-run home run to key a six-run fifth inning and help Salina tie its district series with Nowata at one game apiece.

Burgess' well-timed shot to centerfield came with the Wildcats down 4-2 and three innings from elimination. Instead, the Wildcats walked away with a 10-4 victory.

Bryce Kerns was 3-for-3 with two RBIs out of his seven-spot. His single in the first inning scored Logan Gardner to give the Wildcats their first lead of the contest.

Burgess, a junior, had three RBIs.

Senior Bret Fite earned the win on the mound.

Game 1: Nowata 4, Salina 3 (Thursday)

Salina could not hold on to a late lead and succumbed to Nowata, 4-3, in the teams' district series opener Thursday.

Salina's Cale Backward and Bryce Kerns scored runs on errors in the first and fourth innings, respectively, to give Salina a 2-1 lead on the Ironmen.

However, good defensive plays from Nowata outfielders and costly Wildcat miscues on defense allowed the Ironmen to steal the first game.

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