EDMOND — Gavin LaValley has done plenty of good things on the mound — and at the plate — for Carl Albert this season.
Titans coach Wayne Dozier said the performance he put together Friday may be his best of the season.
LaValley threw a complete game and hit a first-inning opposite-field home run to help Carl Albert advance to the Class 5A title game with an 8-2 win over Noble at Edmond Santa Fe.
“I was getting ahead in the count and was able to use different pitches to keep them off-balance because of that,” LaValley said.
Carl Albert (34-3) will play Claremore at 2:30 p.m. Saturday for the title.
The Titans beat Claremore 6-2 in last season's championship game. Carl Albert will start Chevin Noone against the Zebras. Noone started and picked up the win in last season's meeting.
“Chevin's been our most consistent pitcher this year,” Dozier said. “He was the guy we sent out for our road district games. And we've still got our closer and a couple of our long guys that haven't thrown at all.”
LaValley got things started at the plate with his 20th home run of the season in the first inning to put Carl Albert up 2-0.
“This year, I've concentrated a lot more on that,” LaValley said of going the other way. “If they come in, I'll still take it to left but I've been working a lot on going with the pitch.”
The Titans wound up scoring four in the first.
Stevie Thompson was 3 for 4 with an RBI and a pair of runs. Noone and Corey Zangari had two hits each for the Titans.
Thompson, LaValley and Noone — along with plenty of other Titans players — played a big part in Carl Albert's run to the 5A football title last fall.
“There's just an expectation in our school to succeed,” Dozier said. “And it's not just in athletics. These kids feed off each other. When they see that success, it spreads to the rest of the kids.”
Noble's season ends 32-5.
The Bears figure to be in good position next season, returning all but one player from the team that put Noble back into the state tournament for the first time since 1996.
Freshman Casey Harris and sophomore Trevor Lester had two hits each for the Bears. Harris had a pair of doubles and scored both Noble runs.
Claremore 18, Coweta 0
The Zebras left no doubt, scoring seven in the first and six more in the second to blow the game open.
It was the largest margin of victory in a state tournament game since Dover beat Arnett in the Class B first round in 2007.
Claremore led 5-0 after five batters, as Bryce Howe delivered a two-run single, followed by Isaac Hollihan's two-run home run.
T.J. Wood had two singles in the inning. Leadoff hitter Matt Whatley had a two-run single in the inning after starting it with a walk.