Rattan's Jonathan Samuels couldn't wait to get to the plate in the seventh inning of the Rams' Class A semifinal game against Pioneer-Pleasant Vale.
Samuels took full advantage of the chance, blasting a two-run home run — his second of the game — to lift No. 1 Rattan to a 7-6 win Friday at Palmer Field at Dolese Park.
“I was just ready to hit,” Samuels said. “I was looking for a fastball and I got one right down the middle.
“I knew it was out.”
Rattan (29-7) will play Amber-Pocasset at noon Saturday for the championship.
“All we can ask for is a chance and we've got that,” Dustin Davidson said.
The Rams have won four spring titles, the last coming in 2003.
Rattan nearly let the 5-1 lead it had built get away in the third after the first three hitters reached base before Davidson came on to pitch.
After giving up a two-run single and a sacrifice fly, Davidson kept Pioneer in check until the sixth.
The Mustangs scratched across a pair of runs in the sixth, taking the lead on a Tanner Leon's RBI double.
But Samuels blasted Derek Gabriel's 3-1 pitch over the left field wall to put Rattan back in front.
It was the second consecutive come-from-behind win for Rattan. A night earlier, the Rams scored four in the seventh to beat Caddo 5-2.
“We were surprised the first game,” Samuels said. “We went through the motions a bit but we're playing pretty well right now.”
Amber-Pocasset 14, Roff 6
The Panthers turned in the first blowout of the tournament, coming one out away from winning by run rule in the sixth before finishing it off an inning later.
Chase Johnson reached base five times, going 4 for 4 with a pair of doubles, four RBIs, a walk and scoring twice.
“Nobody expects to get 14 in a state tournament game,” Amber-Pocasset coach Cheyenne Graham said. “If we get deep in counts and force them to make pitches, we can be pretty tough. Where we get in trouble is when we're over-aggressive.”
That wasn't an issue Friday.
The Panthers blew the game open with a four-run third, with three consecutive run-scoring hits by the heart of the order.
Denton Lowe was 2 for 3 with a pair of RBIs and Ryan Cauthen was 1 for 2 with a pair of RBIs.
Sophomore Austin Fick had a two-run home run in the sixth after Roff had added an earlier run to eliminate the run-rule chance.
Trey Winfrey went the distance for the Panthers (25-5) to improve to 6-2.
The championship appearance will be the first for Amber-Pocasset.
“We've got our hands full tomorrow,” Graham said. “They're a really good club and we feel pretty fortunate to be here.”