NORMAN — Deer Creek senior Patton Collie saved his best high school pitching performance for his last.
The right-hander baffled Claremore during Friday’s Class 5A semifinals, throwing his first no-hitter in a 10-0 run-rule victory at L. Dale Mitchell Park to guide the Antlers back to the championship game for the first time since 2011.
“I had my pitches working and I knew I had it the whole game, to be honest, but I was trying not to think about it,” said Collie, who will pitch next season at Colorado School of Mines.
The Antlers will play Carl Albert, the two-time defending champion, noon Saturday at the University of Oklahoma stadium looking for their first ever baseball title.
They’ll have plenty of momentum thanks to Collie and a hot-swinging offense.
Deer Creek (26-13) pounded out 10 runs on 10 hits, while taking advantage of four Claremore errors.
Already ahead 1-0 in the second, the Antlers pounded Claremore starter Cameron Smith and reliever Bryce Howe for five more runs behind six hits with five different players driving in runs.
Collie then settled down even more, but still had some tense moments. He had to work around seven walks, including two innings in which he walked the bases loaded.
“We’ve had times earlier in the season where we’d gotten in situations like that and I didn’t want to let up,” Collie said. “I wanted to stay focused and make sure I went out there and threw up zeroes.”
Collie struck out eight and threw just less than 110 pitches. He closed the game with a perfect sixth inning with closer Chad Dunlop ready to go if needed.
“I didn’t want to mess around with another inning,” Deer Creek coach Ron Moore said. “Somehow, someway we weren’t going to play another inning.”
Carl Albert 4, Guthrie 0
Something about the semifinals brings the best out of Carl Albert’s Gavin LaValley.
Just not necessarily as a hitter.
The right-hander threw seven shutout innings for his third straight dominant semifinals performance on the mound during his career.
“I like the high pressure situations,” said LaValley, an Oklahoma signee. “I think I handle them well.”
Cameron Warren, another Oklahoma signee, drove in two runs with a triple to left-center field to put the Titans (37-4) up in the fourth. He later scored on a groundout by Corey Zangari.
“I was just trying to drive in a run,” Warren said.
Stevie Thompson made it 4-0 in the top of the seventh with a sacrifice fly.
That left LaValley with breathing room to complete the game as he allowed just two hits.
“Just priceless,” Carl Albert coach Wayne Dozier said. “He’s a money player. Big players play big in big games, and he does every time.”