As J.P. Seifried's fly ball skied toward Carl Albert center fielder Steve Thompson, Titans catcher Taylor Hawkins sprinted to the mound.
He wanted to be right in the middle of the dogpile.
Thompson settled under the ball, making the catch and setting off the celebration as Carl Albert beat Claremore 6-2 to win the Class 5A state title at Oral Roberts' J.L. Johnson Stadium.
The title is the third for Carl Albert. All have come in the last six years.
“We just keep building that tradition,” Titans pitcher Chevin Noone said.
As a freshman, Hawkins was a starter on the 2009 team that won the title. His brother, Jordan Hawkins, was a senior on that team.
“It was great to get to start by winning a championship with my brother and then finish this one with Alex (Polston),” Hawkins said.
Following a disappointing performance in last season's state tournament, Carl Albert started the season looking for redemption.
“We were very, very frustrated by the way last year's state tournament,” Titans coach Wayne Dozier said. “They were real responsive to that and did everything we asked them to do to make sure that didn't happen again.”
After a 4-0 win Thursday to open the Class 5A state tournament, Carl Albert starter Cameron Warren promised the Titans would score more runs.
While the Titans' six runs were well below their season average of better than 10, Carl Albert built a quick lead before relying on its pitching and defense to carry it to the title.
Gavin LaValley delivered a two-run single in the first, and Carl Albert (39-3) eventually led 5-0 after two.
“We said we wanted to make a statement and I think that did it,” LaValley said. “After we got up 5-0 with Chevin on the mound, we were set.”
Noone (7-0) pitched into the sixth before Randy Allen took over.
Allen retired all five batters he faced to pick up his second save of the tournament and fifth of the season. He earned the win in Friday night's 10-2 win over McAlester.
“Randy's a strike machine,” Dozier said. “He gets people off balance.”
Carl Albert allowed just four runs in the tournament.
Hawkins, an Oklahoma signee, blasted a solo home run to left leading off the fifth for his 28th home run of the season.
LaValley finished 3 for 4, while Polston and Hawkins had two hits each.