DALE — Dalton Tillison is ready to put Dale's spring championship loss behind him.
The Pirates were the heavy favorite to win the Class 2A spring title last season after winning in the fall, only to watch ace pitcher Evan Anderson allow just one hit in the 3-2 loss to Silo.
Now, No. 2 Dale is back in the fall state tournament looking for yet another championship.
“It was very tough to swallow,” Tillison said. “We didn't put hits in place when we needed them. It was tough to swallow because we had played them last fall in the semifinals and we beat them 3-2.”
The 6-foot-5 left-hander anchors a deep pitching staff entering the Class A tournament, which opens Thursday at 11 a.m. with Dale playing No. 8 Binger-Oney at Edmond Santa Fe.
But it's also a pitching staff that has grown since the spring.
Tillison, who has verbally committed to Seminole State, is 5-1 this season. Seniors Tanner Nelson and Jace Wilkins are also 9-0 and 6-2, respectively.
“We kept our spirits, we kept out nose to the grindstone and kept working on what we need to work on,” Tillison said. “We learned a lot from that game and what we need to improve on.
“We learned that just because we only throw a one-hitter doesn't mean we're going to win the game. It's not all about hits. It's about manufacturing runs.”
The Pirates (25-4) have certainly figured out how to score runs, outscoring their opponents 38-0 in their three regional games.