Tigers showing strides through young season

Mar. 23—Some fans looking at the Tahlequah Tigers' record are impressed by the 10-2 start. But head coach Cody Pair is looking past the wins and losses.

That isn't to say he hasn't been impressed with the play of the Tigers, but he is happy with how they've already improved from the start of the season.

"The wins and losses aren't what we gauge everything off of," Pair said. "Our goal at the end of it is to go to the State Tournament and get better every day to get there. There are some days we have stuff to work on when we still win. Our guys are just getting better at playing baseball."

So far this season, the Tigers have dominated, for the most part, in their wins; seven of 10 have seen the Tigers put up 10 or more runs, with a season-high 17 against Del City.

Up and down the lineup, the Tigers can hit well. Seniors Eli Gibson and Brayden Northington are improving on strong junior seasons. Junior Beckett Robinson is also proving a key role in the middle of the lineup and in centerfield.

"We have several tools; we have speed, power and guys who can handle the bat. It is handy we have gas 1-9 — that can do something — and a good bench. We have a lineup but you have to stay on your toes and get after them. Credit to the coaches and kids; they worked really hard to get there, so we have a lineup that can produce."

Along with the strong lineup, the Tigers' pitching staff has been locked down, tossing shutouts in five games. THS has four other games during which they limited teams to just one run, with teams scoring more than one run just in just three games.

"We've pitched and defended really well," Pair said. "We are banged up and have some arms that aren't shelled, but are sore, so we scaled them back until they feel good. Once those guys are healthy, we will have even more depth. It's something we take pride in. Day-to-day, our offense has been off at times, but we have controlled those things well."

THS returns to district play at 5 p.m. on Monday, March 25, against Edison at home.

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