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Class 5A state baseball: Noble makes return to state tournament

A solid performance last year led to a breakout season this year — a 32-4 record, a district title and plenty of other accomplishments. Now, Noble makes its return to the state tournament Thursday, opening the 5A tournament against Deer Creek at 11 a.m. at Edmond Santa Fe.
by Ryan Aber Modified: May 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm •  Published: May 8, 2013
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photo - Noble pitchers Jimmy Wood, Brady Bradshaw and Derek Underwood are in the state tournament for the Noble Bears on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 in Noble, Okla.  Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman  STEVE SISNEY - THE OKLAHOMAN
Noble pitchers Jimmy Wood, Brady Bradshaw and Derek Underwood are in the state tournament for the Noble Bears on Wednesday, May 8, 2013 in Noble, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman STEVE SISNEY - THE OKLAHOMAN

“We looked at every game before regionals started as just practice,” Wood said. “It doesn't matter who shows up in the other dugout, we were just looking to get better.”

That started with solid pitching and strong defense.

Underwood isn't overpowering but mixes up his speeds to keep hitters off-balance. He isn't afraid to throw off-speed pitches in fastball counts and gives hitters fits with his slider.

Bradshaw can be overpowering with his fastball and can locate the pitch on both corners.

Wood, the team's lone senior, has primarily served as the Bears' closer and takes an aggressive approach on the mound.

“I've had more confidence in the guys behind me,” Underwood said. “Once that confidence came, it got a lot easier to get hitters out.”

Nobody is more thrilled to have Noble back in the state baseball tournament than Anglin.

The last time Noble made the tournament, in 1995, Anglin was a student at Noble.

“This is my dream job,” said Anglin, who is in his sixth season coaching the Bears. “This means a lot to get back here. When I graduated, the program was pretty successful and it went through some down years. We've just been looking for the opportunity to get back.”

Celebrating the regional championship and the state tournament berth was big.

“We worked so hard for that moment and this, to get to the state tournament,” Bradshaw said. “But we've still got plenty of work to do.”

by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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