By the numbers
41: How many times this season Central Oklahoma baseball player Tyler Crabtree was hit by a pitch, tying an NCAA Division II single-season record.
“I think it's pretty good record to have,” said Crabtree. “I know my role on the team is to get on base so the big guys can knock me in.”
Crabtree happily admits he crowds the plate — a practice he's done since Little League days — and totaled a good number of bruises and strawberries. Elbow, thigh, backside, you name a body part, he's probably been thunked there. The McAlester junior has never charged the mound because, he says, that doesn't do the team any good.
“If they want to hit me on purpose, go ahead and do me a favor,” he said. “My goal is to get that 90 feet.”
Crabtree said he was actually hit a 42nd time during the Bronchos' last game of the season, and he would've topped the HBP chart by himself. But the umpire ruled Crabtree out.
“He said I leaned over the plate too much, and the pitch was strike. So he called me out,” he said.
2: Career feature wins for rising sprint car driver Brandon Jennings. The 27-year-old from Norman comes from a terrific gene pool. Father Bruce, uncle Rickey and cousin Danny combined for a dozen championships and dozens more A feature wins at State Fair Speedway before it was demolished after the 2009 season. Brandon has gone from sitting in his mom's lap as a baby in the grandstands to building engines for his own sprint car — just like everyone else in the fast family.
Win No. 2 came a few weeks ago at Lawton Speedway, and he goes into Saturday's races just 70 points out of first place. Is this a breakthrough season?
“I'd like for it to be,” Brandon said. “It takes a combination of laps and equipment, and I know we have more horsepower than usual. My dad is my setup man, so we have the knowledge.”
A land man by trade, Jennings felt a little pressure early in his racing career to follow in the tracks of the family's winning tradition. “But I'm not worried about it now. If I retired tomorrow, I would hope people would say that I was making progress.”
Truth be told
The Oklahoman asked high school athletes: What did you do last summer to make money?
James Reeves, golf, Casady:
“Worked as a caddie.”
Eduardo Meza, soccer, Capitol Hill:
“Worked as a cashier at Walgreen's.”
Shali Schoepflin, tennis, Edmond Memorial:
“I refereed basketball at the YMCA.”