SHAWNEE — On the bus ride to the Class 6A baseball state championship game Saturday afternoon, Owasso coach Larry Turner told his team to enjoy the experience.
“It won't sink in for awhile what you have a chance to do,” Turner told his players. “You have the opportunity to run the table. How cool will that be? Savor the moment. You may never get a chance to do this again.”
The Rams enjoyed every bit of it, grinding out a 5-1 win over Norman North at Ed Skelton Field to wrap up their 12th state championship.
In the process, Owasso set a big-time first for the school, becoming the first undefeated team not only in school history but the first 6A baseball team ever to go through the season without a loss.
In the team picture following the game, one Rams player held up a jersey with “36” on its back while another held up one with “0” to mark Owasso's perfect 36-0 mark.
The undefeated mark started creeping into Owasso players' minds about a month ago after a second win against Jenks.
“It's incredible to me that we were able to do that,” Owasso catcher Garrett Hall said. “It's just crazy that we got it done. We played a lot of close games and we were just so close together.”
Twelve of Owasso's wins came by three or less runs.
“We didn't have a guy like Dylan Bundy or Pete Kozma,” Rams right fielder Mason O'Brien said. “It took every one of us. This was a whole team effort all year.”
Even with the prospect of going undefeated in front of them, the Rams had some question marks coming in to the title game.
Shortstop Austin Rosa was playing with a pair of broken fingers. Braden Webb had pitched just two innings since early April after suffering some back problems.
But Rosa came up with a huge two-run single in the first and Webb threw a gem to give the Rams not only their 12th state title but their first undefeated season.
“He was going to be a little rusty we thought,” Turner said of Webb. “He didn't have great command of his curveball, but he's just a gamer. He found a way.”
Norman North got to Webb only briefly, with a bunt hit followed by a pair of sacrifices to score in the first.
The Timberwolves (27-9) managed two more hits, but neither runner advanced past first base.
Norman North got solid pitching for the most part, but the Rams were able to take full advantage of a pair of Timberwolves errors to score four of their runs.
In the first, Jonah Bride reached on an error that eventually helped give Rosa a chance to bat in the inning.
Leading 3-1, the Rams added two runs in the fifth after O'Brien's line single to right skipped under Norman North right fielder Nick Basquine's glove.
Basquine initially held up his hands to indicate the ball was stuck in the fence, but as umpires walked toward the outfield, Basquine came in clutching the ball.
After a brief discussion, both Jonah Bride, who started the play at first, and O'Brien were allowed to score.
O'Brien was 3 for 4 with three runs scored.
After many players had left the field, Webb remained near home plate, lying on his back making “snow” angels in the dirt.
“God has blessed us. It's a great feeling,” Webb said. “We just play together like a family.”