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Edmond Santa Fe's Clayton Blackburn outduels Deer Creek's Michael Fulmer

BY ROBERT PRZYBYLO Staff Writer Published: April 30, 2011

— It was as good as advertised. And then some.

In a game billed as a showdown of not just two of the best baseball teams in the state but also two of the best pitchers in the state, nobody disappointed.

Not Edmond Santa Fe, not Deer Creek. Not Wolves' star Clayton Blackburn and not Antlers' hurler Michael Fulmer.

A Blackburn RBI sacrifice fly proved to be the difference in the top of the first inning to give Santa Fe a 1-0 win at Deer Creek on Saturday afternoon.

Blackburn, an Oklahoma signee, was given an 80-pitch limit by coach Lonny Cobble. Blackburn made the most out of it. He threw six innings, struck out 11 and gave up just two hits.

“It was a lot of fun,” Blackburn said. “This game was built up a lot, and it was fun to go out there and show people what I have. He's (Fulmer) a great pitcher, too.”

Santa Fe's Kyle Shaw struck out the side in the seventh inning to earn the save.

The game was a gutsy call by both coaches. The Wolves, ranked third in 6A, have positioned themselves once again as the best 6A team in the west and a legitimate state championship contender. Any question about that has been answered this month with wins against Norman North and a victory last weekend at top-ranked Broken Arrow.

Deer Creek, meanwhile, entered Saturday with a 21-game winning streak and is ranked No. 1 in 5A. The Antlers (27-5) had not lost to an in-state opponent the entire season. But neither coach was second-guessing their decision to play Saturday.

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