Elgin, Marlow launch state bids today
In their last State baseball tournament appearances, Elgin and Marlow swallowed bitter pills of defeat.
In 2014, Elgin was a victim of a no-hitter against Dewey in the quarterfinals.
Last year, Marlow was a young squad that turned a few heads by making the semifinals before the Outlaws' "youthfulness showed" coach John Morgan said.
Today, the Owls and Outlaws hope those grave season-ending losses of the past will propel them a step closer to a state championship when the Class 3A and 4A State baseball tournaments kick off in Edmond.
Marlow gets the day of quarterfinals started at 11 a.m. when the Outlaws (27-7) open with Beggs (23-6) in Class 3A at Edmond Memorial High School. The winner moves on to Friday's semifinals at noon against the winner of Oktaha and Oklahoma Christian School.
Across town, Elgin gets underway shortly after with first pitch at 1:30 p.m. at Edmond Santa Fe High School where the Owls (25-13) meet Poteau (25-9) in a Class 4A battle. The winner meets the winner of Heritage Hall and Verdigris at 2:30 p.m. in Friday's semifinals.
Both Marlow and Elgin are eyeing Saturday's championship games for Class 3A and 4A which will be played at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in downtown Oklahoma City.
"You don't have to beat all eight teams," Marlow coach John Morgan said. "You just have to go beat the guy in front of you that day and everybody else is going to take care of their business. It's a one-game tournament on Thursday, then on Friday, then on Saturday. Survive and advance is all we have to do."
Snider to pitch for Owls
Elgin ace Jaken Snider, who has thrown double-digit strikeouts in multiple games this season, will take the mound against Poteau. After the Owls were no-hit in 2014, perhaps Snider can reverse fortune a throw a no-hitter against the Pirates.
Even if both offenses take away the no-no, Garrett expects the game to be a low-scoring affair where every base runner is twice as valuable.
"It's gonna be a pitcher's duel so everything is magnified a little more," Garrett said. "Both guys are going to be tough to get to so when we got an opportunity, we need to make it count. Catching the ball is going to be key and so is delivering with a man in scoring position."
Garrett says Poteau "has an advantage" because they have experience with a few trips to the state tournament the past four years, but the Owls' focus has been narrowed to a simple baseball game rather than realizing it's the state tournament.
"We just need to do what we do and not get caught up in the big stage," Garrett said. "We talked about it in regionals that everybody has to step up, deliver and do their job. No one has to be a hero. All week we reiterated that."
There were heroes in regionals last week like Trevor Bianchini's walk off against Clinton, but it was not necessarily hero ball. It was more of each Owl stepping up when called upon.