EDMOND — Dale junior Jace Wilkins turned in his own dominant performance Thursday afternoon.
With Ole Miss commit Evan Anderson patrolling center field instead of the mound, Wilkins limited No. 12-ranked Wister to just four hits as the top-ranked Pirates opened their fall title defense with a 3-0 victory in the Class A state tournament at Edmond Santa Fe.
Wilkins struck out eight and worked out of multiple jams, even without a feel for his change-up. That led him to using his curveball more, and it was quite effective.
And for Dale coach Jerry Sanford, that made his decision to go with Wilkins look even better.
“It gives him some experience in the state tournament,” Sanford said. “If we do happen to make it again, now he's got experience.”
Even though Anderson wasn't on the mound, his presence was felt as he delivered a big two-run double off Colby Turnipseed in the bottom of the fourth for a 3-0 lead. Earlier in the at-bat, Anderson missed a double and a home run in foul territory.
“I was kind of shocked to see some pitches over the plate with two strikes,” he said. “I didn't think he was going to give me anything, but he gave me a curveball up so I took a hack.”
Anderson also scored the Pirates' first run on an error by Wister (20-9) right fielder Cody Sprayberg in the third.
Sanford said left-hander Dalton Tillison will start Friday against Silo.
Turnipseed allowed three runs on four hits in four innings for Wister, which left five runners on base in the fourth and fifth innings.
From there, Wilkins cruised.
“I just cleared my mind of everything and took out the distractions, and just threw,” Wilkins said.
Silo 6, Colbert 3
No. 8 Silo rallied for four runs in the third inning, taking advantage of two Colbert errors.