McALESTER — With two more wins Tuesday, Texas guaranteed itself a spot in the Jr. Sunbelt Classic tournament championship Wednesday in McAlester.
Tennessee swept its games Tuesday to put itself one win away from that second spot in the championship.
Oklahoma Gold and Oklahoma Blue can at best play for third and seventh, respectively. But both teams still slugged it out in the annual Gold-Blue game, putting the finishing touch on a busy Day 5.
Texas 9, Canada 0 (5 innings)
Texas pitcher Karan Patel came into Tuesday’s game against Canada having thrown just one prior inning the entire tournament.
With plenty of pitches left in his arm, Patel spun a gem for Texas.
Patel pitched a five-inning no-hitter, helping Texas run-rule Canada 9-0 in five innings at Mike Deak Field in McAlester.
“For him to come back from what he did the first time, I can’t say enough good things about him,” Texas coach Lou Kosanovich said of Patel.
“We had to get him out there. ... He has to get his mechanics down, and he did.”
Mixing a fastball in the mid 80s with offspeed pitches about eight miles per hour slower, Patel dominated Canada’s hitters early in the game. He retired the first 10 he faced until giving up a full-count walk to Jake Foden with one out in the bottom of the fourth.
Foden got to second when first baseman Dillon Duarte couldn’t handle Patel’s pickoff throw, but Patel came back to strike out Elliott Curtis and Ashton Roy looking to get out of the inning.
Patel went on to strike out Canada’s first two hitters in the bottom of the fifth, though a dropped third strike allowed Matthew Bondy to reach to lead off the inning. Patel then got Joseph Moher got to ground out to second, with Duarte tagging Moher on the shoulder after the throw to first pulled Duarte off the bag.