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.
Shortstop Andrew Bolin went 3 for 3 with a double, triple and two RBIs. His triple in the third drove in the go-ahead run. He also had an RBI double in the fourth.
Justin Hendricks pitched five-plus innings for the victory, allowing two runs on five hits.
Bradley Nichols suffered the loss for No. 5 Colbert, allowing four runs in three innings.
Sterling 4, Byng 1
Sterling pitcher Reece Siebold drove in the game's first run with a squeeze bunt to cap a wild at-bat in the fourth inning, but it proved costly as he had to leave the game in the bottom half of the inning with a blister on his finger from the bunt.
Still, the Tigers (27-5) got four solid innings of relief from Trevyn Woolbright to advance to the semifinals against Latta.
Seibold looked to originally be out in the fourth when he grounded out, but a balk negated the pitch. He then thought he struck out later in the plate appearance and walked toward the dugout before delivering the full-count bunt.
Latta 6, Rattan 0
Right-hander Brady Johnson was nearly unhittable, striking out 13 and allowing just two hits in seven innings to knock off No. 2 Rattan.
Rattan's only hits came in the second inning when Cullen Mack doubled to leadoff and Tanner McAdams reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Johnson, though, struck out the next three batters to end the threat.
Sixth-ranked Latta (22-8) scored two runs each in the third, fourth and sixth.
Blake Watts and Cade Clay combined to strike out 13 for Rattan (30-5).