SHAWNEE — Having already played for the state championship in football and basketball this season, Anadarko was just three outs of way from completing the trifecta in baseball.
The Warriors entered the bottom of the seventh in Friday's Class 4A semifinal with a three-run lead, but Hilldale rallied to tie the game then won it in the eighth, 6-5, to advance to Saturday's state championship game.
“We just weren't quite able to finish it,” Anadarko coach Mike Sparks said. “Give them credit. They got hits when they needed to get hits.”
Hilldale loaded the bases with nobody out in the seventh on an error and two singles, then scored three times courtesy of a walk, a hit batsman and a double play.
Kolby Williams, Anadarko's third pitcher of the seventh inning, was able to get the final out on a pop up to send the game into extra innings, but wasn't able to get an out in the eighth.
Hilldale loaded the bases in the eighth on a hit batsman, an error and a single before Miles Jackson delivered the game winner with a sharp single past Anadarko first baseman Russell Mithlo.
“I've been a through a couple of those type of games before but never in the state tournament,” said Hilldale coach Darren Riddle, whose Hornets improved to 26-7 on the season.
Hilldale made its rally just in time. It began to rain in Hornets' half of the seventh, and Riddle worried the umpires might call the game.
“The umpires said if it started raining they were going to put the tarp on and it didn't start raining until we were hitting in the seventh,” he said. “You never know what is going to happen, when they are going to call it. I know that it is tough for their guys to go out there and throw strikes (in the rain). It's unfortunate for them, but obviously good for us.”