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Class 4A baseball state tournament roundup: Kingfisher squeezes way past Verdigris

EDMOND — Cole Crosswhite had to dive across the plate to make contact.

With all three baserunners in motion and Verdigris’ defense collapsing, Kingfisher’s senior had to get the bunt down. Otherwise, it’s a disaster.

It’s a play right out of Verdigris’ playbook, one the Cardinals ran to tie the game an inning earlier.

Crosswhite’s two-run squeeze bunt in the sixth sealed Kingfisher’s first ever win in the Class 4A state tournament with a 5-3 victory Friday night at Edmond North.

“I just knew my team was counting on me,” Crosswhite said. “I had to get it down. We work on that every day, and it paid off.”

But the play wasn’t without controversy.

Cade Stephens scored easily from third. Tate Taylor scored from second, well ahead of a late throw. Verdigris appealed to third, believing he cut short of the bag. Umpires ruled him safe.

“The infield was in, so he was as far as the shortstop (leading off),” Kingfisher coach Stan Blundell said. “We’ve never cut it. We’re only going to cut it when we play my sons.”

Kingfisher (33-7) led 3-2 after five when Verdigris (32-4) tied the game on a squeeze bunt by Toby Willis.

The Yellowjackets play Blanchard in the semifinals.

Harrah 2, Grove 1

Harrah senior Tyler Delong first noticed the scoreboard in the sixth inning had nothing in Grove’s hit column.

“I can do this,” Delong said to himself.

His mind went back to the foot injury suffered in basketball that cost him his sophomore season. He remembered losing the opener of the state tournament as a freshman. He thought of Grove lefty Chat Hayes leaving a few innings earlier with an injury as he pitched a no-hitter.

This was Delong’s time.

With the final fastball he threw past Grove left fielder Seth Willis, he celebrated like never before. Delong pitched his first no-hitter in Panthers’ win over Grove.

“It’s something special, man,” Delong said. “I’m glad we got the win.”

Delong’s fastball sat around 88 mph as he struck out 10 and walked four on 103 pitches. The lone run scored when Grove’s Zane Knox walked, stole second, moved and scored on two straight groundouts in the fourth.

Harrah (32-4) was also being no-hit most of the game. Hayes was fooling the Panthers, until he suffered an elbow injury holding up from throwing a pitch as timeout was called at home plate. He left the game with two outs in the fourth. Harrah’s Garrett Revene immediately doubled and later scored on an error for the 2-1 lead.

That allowed Delong to continue his dominance.

Harrah faces the winner of Newcastle and Poteau, which was postponed after four innings due to rain with Poteau leading 4-0. The game was tentatively set to resume at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Blanchard 5, Berryhill 0

When 6-foot-8 right-hander Jace Beck is on, things tend to go Blanchard’s way.

“If he’s on, we’re winning,” Blanchard coach Josh Raney said.

Beck, a Cowley College signee, was definitely on as he held Berryhill to one hit and struck out 11 over six innings to lead the undefeated Lions to the semifinals.

Colby Reed drove in two during a three-run third. Ty Vanmeter and Callen Golloway each drove in a run.

Related Photos
<strong>Verdigris' Tristen Hilton, left,  runs home past Kingfisher catcher Logan Rutledge during a Class 4A state tournament baseball game Friday at Edmond North High School. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]</strong>

Verdigris' Tristen Hilton, left, runs home past Kingfisher catcher Logan Rutledge during a Class 4A state tournament baseball game Friday at Edmond North High School. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5acfd1eb552c4f341de1fb2a3a670aa1.jpg" alt="Photo - Verdigris' Tristen Hilton, left, runs home past Kingfisher catcher Logan Rutledge during a Class 4A state tournament baseball game Friday at Edmond North High School. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] " title=" Verdigris' Tristen Hilton, left, runs home past Kingfisher catcher Logan Rutledge during a Class 4A state tournament baseball game Friday at Edmond North High School. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] "><figcaption> Verdigris' Tristen Hilton, left, runs home past Kingfisher catcher Logan Rutledge during a Class 4A state tournament baseball game Friday at Edmond North High School. [Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Jacob Unruh

Jacob Unruh is a graduate of Northeastern State University. He was born in Cherokee and raised near Vera where he attended Caney Valley High School.During his tenure at NSU, Unruh wrote for The Northeastern (NSU's student newspaper), the... Read more ›

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