COLBERT – Forget Alaska – we’ve got midnight baseball right here in Texoma.
On the second day of summer and stretching into the third, the Colbert Summer Invitational survived an unlikely rain delay and squeezed five baseball games into 14 hours Thursday and into Friday.
The host Leopards outlasted Tushka 12-10 in a spring playoff rematch. The game started around 9 p.m. and concluded two minutes after midnight – following a summer solstice tradition of “midnight baseball” in Fairbanks, Alaska, where sunlight fell around the clock earlier this week.
Bradley Nichols pitched most of the game for the Leopards, with Kason Krob coming in to close in the final moments. Colbert took a 5-1 lead in the early innings before the Tigers tied the game in the fourth.
Caleb Shoemake’s RBI single gave Colbert a 6-5 lead before Dylan Jones lined into a double play. Nichols collected two RBIs on a double as part of a six run inning for the Leopards. Shoemake drew a walk and stole his way home in the seventh for a much-needed insurance run and a 12-5 Colbert lead.
Tushka rallied for five runs in the seventh, but Krob scattered two strikeouts and a fielder’s choice as the Tigers left the bases loaded in the loss. Colbert will meet Rattan (7-4 winners over Coleman on Thursday) at 5:30 p.m. today in the winner’s bracket.
In earlier action, Calera handed Tupelo their second loss in a 5-3 decision. Riley Barton’s two-run homer in the first inning set the tone for the Bulldogs.
Conner Hamilton got the win, allowing three Tiger hits in five innings of work. Tupelo took a 3-2 lead in the second before Calera rallied in the fourth.
A single from Alex Carr scored Barton to tie the game, then Lucas Wright scored the go-ahead run on a bases loaded walk. In the fifth, Hamilton drew a walk and used his speed to get to third on a sacrifice bunt from Barton.
Hamilton scored the insurance run on a ball put into play by Lucas Wright.
Barton had two RBIs in the game, with Wright, Carr, and Dakota Hodge picking up the others. Calera’s field defense was solid, and the Bulldogs ended the game on a double play.
Calera faced Boswell at 11 a.m. Friday; winner of this game will play Tushka at 12:30 p.m. Other Friday games include Madill vs. Roff at 2 p.m. and Coleman plays the Madill-Roff winner at 4 p.m.
Coleman beat Roff 6-2, then Roff eliminated Rock Creek 8-0 in other Thursday action.