Class 2A baseball: Dalton Tillison overcomes early struggles, Dale whips Alva

Dale baseball coach Jerry Sanford is not saying when Ole Miss commit Evan Anderson will pitch in state tournament.
by Jacob Unruh Published: May 9, 2013
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photo - Alva's Cody Jones beats Dale's Xavier Lanham's tag as he steals 3rd base  during the Class 2A state tournament at Palmer Field in Oklahoma City , Thursday May 9, 2013. Photo By Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman
Alva's Cody Jones beats Dale's Xavier Lanham's tag as he steals 3rd base during the Class 2A state tournament at Palmer Field in Oklahoma City , Thursday May 9, 2013. Photo By Steve Gooch, The Oklahoman

It took Dale baseball coach Jerry Sanford five pitches to make a visit to the mound Thursday morning.

After electing to not use Ole Miss commit Evan Anderson on the mound, Sanford found himself delivering a firm message to left-hander Dalton Tillison, who had yet to throw a strike in five pitches against Alva.

“He said if I don't start throwing strikes, then I am going to be on the bench,” Tillison said. “And I took that seriously and ended up coming back and throwing like I should have been.”

Tillison retired eight straight after his opening two-batter hiccup, and Dale pieced together just enough runs to beat the Goldbugs 7-2 in the Class 2A quarterfinals at Palmer Field in Dolese Park.

The top-ranked Pirates (28-4) play Colbert at 11 a.m. Friday in Shawnee.

No. 12 Alva (24-12) was making its first state tournament appearance since 1976, while Dale is attempting to repeat as champion and win its 11th spring title.

Sanford, though, is holding firm with his poker face by refusing to name a starting pitcher for Friday, leaving it up in the air when Anderson will see the mound.

“That might be a little bit more of a secret because I don't want to give that out because then they'll know if it's a right-hander or left-hander,” Sanford said. “I don't know yet.

“We've got about six guys I'm comfortable throwing, but I don't know why I decided (to start Tillison). A lot of people thought I would throw the Anderson kid, but it's a crapshoot. He's ready to go.”


by Jacob Unruh
Reporter
Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the...
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