EDMOND — Verdigris ace pitcher Blake Battenfield cruised into the top of the seventh inning Thursday afternoon, his team holding a comfortable lead in its Class 3A quarterfinal with Oklahoma Christian School.
Battenfield struck out the first batter, then watched his normally ironclad defense commit consecutive errors, putting Saints runners on first and third.
But the senior remained cool, recorded his 14th and 15th strikeouts of the day and finished off a complete-game, two-hit performance in Verdigris' 3-0 win at Deer Creek's John Hundley Field.
“I've been there before,” Battenfield said. “I knew we were up, and that we don't make errors often.”
Verdigris, seeking its third straight Class 3A baseball title, advances to Friday's 11 a.m. semifinal at Edmond Santa Fe High School, where the Cardinals will meet either Salina or Spiro, who played later Thursday.
Oklahoma Christian leadoff hitter Callen Crockett opened Thursday's game with a single, but Battenfield didn't allow another Saints base runner until the bottom of the sixth.
Battenfield (7-0) said his 15 strikeouts Thursday were a career high.