Class 2A baseball: Oktaha senior Korey Walker fires no-hitter in final appearance
SHAWNEE — Oktaha pitcher Korey Walker felt a little extra guidance as he took the mound late in the game.
His curveball was dancing. His pitch sequence was fooling Wellston hitters. The scoreboard showed what nobody likes to talk about — zero hits.
There was no better way to draw up a career finale for a senior who has no plans to play college baseball.
On a chilly, breezy day that saw mostly routs, a diminutive pitcher stole the show in the Class 2A state quarterfinals with his second career no-hitter in No. 2 Oktaha’s 9-1 win that spoiled No. 9 Wellston’s first state tournament appearance since 2007.
“I feel like God let me come out here and just let me throw,” he said. “I feel good about it.”
Walker threw a no-hitter in the fall against Dale. The two teams will meet again at 11 a.m. Friday.
This time, Walker allowed a first-inning run after he hit Sayre Wilson, who scored on an error. Another batter reached on an error and Walker hit one more batter.
Dale 11, Christian Heritage 0, 6 innings
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Cooper Hunt was surrounded by his infielders and head coach Eddie Jeffcoat running a quick survey.
Dale’s senior left-hander was at 49 pitches with one out and a five-run lead in the fifth. He could leave the game and be able to return for Saturday’s championship. Or, he could stay in and finish the job.
Each infielder told him to walk away.
“I want to do what’s going to give us the best chance to win a championship,” Hunt said.
Behind Hunt’s dominance in an abbreviated performance, No. 4 Dale routed No. 7 Christian Heritage.
Hunt, the son of former Asher and LSU star Will Hunt, allowed just two hits and struck out four in 5 1/3 innings. Under OSSAA pitch-count rules, he must rest a calendar day. Had he thrown two more pitches, it would have meant another day.
Latta 6, Mangum 5
Latta senior Zac Byrd felt even better after a brief conversation with coach Eddie Collins.
Collins told him in tense terms to not chase a pitch, get a fastball and drive it up the middle or to right field.
“Yes sir,” Byrd said.
Then he delivered.
Byrd singled to right with two outs to score the winning run in a wild seventh-inning comeback after No. 6 Latta blew a final-inning lead to No. 5 Mangum.
“That was awesome,” Byrd said. “It honestly gave me confidence that he wanted to talk to me, talk me up and tell me that he believed in me.”
Latta (20-9) plays No. 1 Silo at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
But it first needed late heroics.
Tucker Abney singled with two outs. Creed Humphrey walked. Both advanced on a passed ball. Abney scored on a wild pitch, setting up Byrd.
Silo 7, Hartshorne 1
No. 1 Silo, the two-time defending champion, rolled behind lefty Dylan Turner and big hits from Joyal Savage to the semifinals.
Turner held No 15 Hartshorne wot on unearned run on four hits over seven innings. He struck out 12. Royal had two run-scoring doubles as Silo remained perfect in spring first-round games under coach Billy Jack Bowen.