Vian coaches told the Wolverines to be aggressive right out of the gate Thursday, so leadoff hitter Landon Decker obliged.
The senior drilled the first pitch of the game over the left-center field fence — the first of six first-inning Vian runs — and the Wolverines (33-2) held on for a 9-6 quarterfinal win over Stroud.
Decker, who also hit an opening-pitch homer earlier this year in the Stilwell Tournament, was 2 for 3, adding an RBI double in the sixth inning.
Stroud (27-5) slowly battled back, though, scoring four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to make things interesting late.
“We've had a lot of games like that this year,” Decker said. “We've won every game we've had like that, so I didn't really feel any pressure.”
Vian, which seeks its first-ever baseball state title, advances to face Marlow in Friday's 1:30 p.m. semifinal at Edmond Santa Fe.
SPIRO 5, SALINA 2
Spiro, which won its first and only baseball state title in 1991, moved one step closer to claiming a second one with Thursday's 5-2 win over Salina in the Class 3A quarterfinals.
Junior third baseman Josh Woolly's RBI single in the third inning started the scoring for Spiro. Woolly finished Thursday's game 3 for 4 with 2 RBIs.
Spiro (28-6) reached the state tournament last season, but lost its first game to eventual state champion Verdigris. The Bulldogs get another shot at the Cardinals in Friday's semifinal.
Salina finishes its season with a 25-10 record.
MARLOW 9, KINGSTON 7
Marlow took a huge lead early, then held off a furious Kingston rally to win 9-7 Thursday and advance to the Class 3A semifinals.
The Outlaws (32-4) led 7-0 entering the bottom of third inning, when the Redskins' bats came alive for six runs. Kingston didn't score again until the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs, when Marlow pitcher Beau Meshell walked three straight batters.
Meshell escaped the late scare, though, and Marlow advanced to face Vian. The Outlaws have never won a baseball state championship.
The Redskins, making their first state tournament appearance since 1988, finished the season with a 24-10 record.