Even the celebratory dogpile seemed routine.
The Dale Pirates won their second consecutive fall baseball championship and third straight overall with a 10-0 run-rule win over Latta in five innings at the Class A title game Saturday at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
“We only have two guys who were playing in their first state tournament,” Dale pitcher Evan Anderson said. “Those guys seemed pretty relaxed, and everything went smooth. The experience definitely plays a role.”
The Pirates now have 19 baseball state championships in fall and spring.
Anderson, a lanky left-hander who is arguably the state's top pitching prospect, scored the game's first run on a sacrifice fly in the top of the first inning, and that was all the offensive help he would need. Dale led 4-0 before Anderson ever stepped on the mound.
“That was huge for me, but it's also huge for the rest of the team,” Anderson said of the early lead. “It lets everybody relax and make plays easier. We did a great job of jumping on them today.”
Coming off a relief appearance Friday, Anderson wasn't his best on the mound, but still managed a one-hit shutout with six strikeouts. He allowed seven walks, three times walking back-to-back hitters. Yet he still never allowed a runner to third base.
“He's one of those guys who can walk two in a row, then strike out the next three,” Dale coach Jerry Sanford said. “You just tell him to keep it in there. It's not that big a deal.”
Dale's Xavier Lanham had a three-run double in the first inning to ignite the onslaught. Gunnar Hathcock had two of Dale's six hits, walking once and scoring three times.
Anderson praised the defensive play behind him as well, one day after the Pirates were troubled by three errors in a narrow escape against Silo.
“We had no errors. I'll take that any day,” he said. “I was a little sore after throwing yesterday, so I just tried to throw as many strikes as I could and let the defense make the plays.”
Red Oak shuts out Asher
Junior Tyler Parks scattered five hits and struck out eight as Red Oak defeated Asher 6-0 for the Class B baseball title.
Red Oak busted the game open with a five-run third inning, and Parks kept Asher off the bases, only allowing two base runners in an inning once all day.
“It wasn't a great day to swing the bat in these conditions, so we wanted to go right at them,” Red Oak coach Trey Booth said. “Tyler has been getting better and better, but today, it was top shelf.”
Garrett Noah led the Red Oak offense with two singles and two runs scored, and Dylan Fazekas added a two-run double in the big third inning.
“There's something to be said about kids with timely hits,” Booth said. “They've done that all year. We're not a great hitting team, but we have kids that find a way to get it done. Big hits in big situations, and that's why we got the win today.”
Red Oak has won four of the last five Class B state titles in fall and spring combined and has six total (three fall, three spring), all coming since 2008.