EDMOND — Jimmy Wood knew this time would come for Noble.
After reaching the state baseball tournament for the first time since 1996, Noble defeated Deer Creek 3-2 in the Class 5A quarterfinals — giving the Bears their first state tournament victory since a semifinal win 17 years ago.
“This means everything to us,” Wood said. “When I got here as a sophomore we started working for this. I remember looking at the class behind me and knowing we would be here.
“It took us a couple years, but we're here and we're for real.”
Wood — the Bears' only senior — went 2-for-4 at the plate, driving in all three Noble runs with a pair of doubles.
He was equally as impressive on the mound. He struck out six and surrendered just one hit over 4 2/3 shutout innings in relief of starter Derek Underwood.
“I just wanted to do it for all my boys,” Wood said. “I think we have the best defense in the state, and it's really easy to pitch with that behind you.”
Wood opened the scoring with a two-out, two-RBI double in the top of the second. But Deer Creek (26-9) answered quickly with two runs in the third inning to tie the game. The Antlers threatened to take the lead with the bases loaded and just one out.
That's when Noble (33-4) turned to Wood, as the senior came in to get back-to-back strikeouts and leave the bases loaded.