Dale is one win closer to successfully defending its 2012 championship after rallying to defeat Alva 7-2 in Thursday’s Class 2A state quarterfinals at Dolese Park.
The Goldbugs, ranked 12th, jumped out to a 2-1 lead over the top-ranked Pirates in the first inning. Dale held Alva at bay from there, and opened a 6-2 lead with a five-run fourth inning.
Dale out-slugged the Goldbugs 8-4 as Xavier Lanham led the charge with two doubles. Chase Byndas added a pair of singles for the Pirates (28-4).
Dalton Tillison threw all seven innings and struck out three in moving to 7-1.
“He threw really well,” Dale coach Jerry Sanford said of Tillison, who tossed close to 100 pitches on the day.
The Pirates committed three errors behind him. Alva miscued once.
In other quarterfinals games Thursday, Dale’s long-time nemesis Latta was dropped by a 4-2 count versus Caney Valley. Latta’s Panthers defeated Dale 11-2 during the regular season.
Colbert defeated Tushka Thursday, 12-5, and Silo topped Ketchum 3-2.
Dale will meet Colbert in today’s semifinals at 11 a.m. at Shawnee High School’s Memorial Park. Silo and Caney Valley will square off at 1:30 p.m., and Dale-Colber winer and Silo-Caney Valley winner will meet at 1 p.m. Saturday at Shawnee in the title game.
“We’ve just got to pitch it, hit it and catch it. That’s what it boils down to at this point in the season,” Sanford said.
Dale owns a total of 19 state crowns, with 10 of those coming in the spring. The Pirates have won three in a row beginning with the 2011 fall title.
On the Class 6A side Thursday, Edmond Santa Fe was defeated 11-1 by Owasso in the state quarterfinals at Shawnee High School. Edmond Santa Fe is coached by former Shawnee coach Jeff Schafer.
Note: Report compiled by Jason Smith.