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.