By Ryan Lewis
The Altus Junior High Bulldogs are summer league champions after picking up two victories on Thursday.
The Bulldogs defeated Vernon, 7-5, before run-ruling Tipton, 11-2, to win the championship.
Against Vernon, the Bulldogs fell into an early hole after Vernon scored two runs in the top of the first and one in the top of the second to take an early, 3-0, lead.
Altus was able to hold off Vernon in the top of the third before the Bulldogs finally began stringing together hits to take the game over.
Gray Winsett, Kaden Clendennen and Kelby Bates were all walked to begin the inning before Calton Moore was hit by a pitch to award the Bulldogs their first run of the game.
Following the run, Ashton Pride added his bat to the mix, crushing a line drive to left field to drive in Clendennen and Bates and tie the game at three.
Kasen Abernathy singled on a ground ball up the middle to score Moore and give the Bulldogs their first lead of the game, and Kylin Monday tripled on a line drive to center field to score both Pride and Abernathy and extend the Bulldogs lead to 6-3.
Monday scored himself on a steal of home to give the Bulldogs a 7-3 lead before the half-inning was ended by the scorekeeper.
Vernon added two more runs in the top of the fourth inning but could not do anything else in the inning, keeping the Bulldogs ahead and allowing Altus to pick up the win.
A.J. Rodriguez pitched the first three innings of the game and allowed just three runs on seven hits while striking out three. Monday pitched the final inning and allowed two runs on three hits.
Pride led all Bulldog batters with two RBIs and one run on one hit. Monday added two RBIs and one run on one hit.
Against Tipton, the Bulldogs wasted little time pushing runs across home plate, scoring two in the bottom of the first and four in the bottom of the second to take a 6-0 lead.
Tipton scored its first and only runs in the top of the fourth inning. The Bulldogs came back in the bottom of the fourth to add four more runs.
Pride began the inning with a single before Abernathy struck out to give the Bulldogs their first out of the inning. Monday was walked and Hunter Meyers drove Pride in with an RBI single.
Gavin Langam struck out before Rodriguez drove in the Bulldogs’ ninth run with an RBI single to right field. Winsett then doubled to drive in Rodriguez and Clendennen singled to drive in Winsett and give the Bulldogs an 11-2 lead, the win and the summer league championship.
Meyers pitched all four innings of the game and allowed just one run on three hits while striking out five.
Meyers also drove in two runs on two hits as did Rodriguez and Langam.