A group of talented underclassmen helped lead a revitalized Shawnee baseball program back to the state tournament in 2014.
The Wolves started a total of six freshmen and sophomores during a season in which they started out 20-1 and finished 31-6 with a loss to Guthrie in the 5A state quarterfinals.
Leading the way for the Wolves were freshmen pitchers Tanner Sparks and Eli Davis. Davis led the team with a 10-1 record, an ERA of 1.06 while striking out 96 batters in 65.2 innings.
Sparks was 8-0 on the season with an ERA of 1.27 and 49 strikeouts in 49.2 innings.
Offensively, the Wolves were led by junior Josh Rolette and freshman Jake Taylor. Rolette finished the season with a .505 batting average, 44 RBIs and a team-leading 22 extra-base hits.
Taylor, who committed to the Oklahoma State University after the season, batted .469 and led the team with 46 RBIs as Shawnee averaged 9.7 runs per game on the season.
After starting the season 20-1 the Wolves hit a rough patch during the month of April, losing four out of six while also losing senior infielder Colin Robertson for the season with a wrist injury. Robertson had been hitting a team-leading .574 at the time of his injury.
But with the district title on the line the Wolves won their final six games, including a pair of wins over Pryor and one at McAlester on the final day of the regular season, to claim the district and a home regional.
The Wolves dispatched East Central and Grove to advance to state, where they held the lead over Guthrie before giving up seven runs in the sixth inning of an 8-4 loss.
“They had a good year and probably exceeded my expectations from the beginning of the year,” head coach Todd Boyer said afterward. “We’re excited about the future.”
The Wolves graduated three seniors in Robertson, Landon Harper and Brock Maldonado, and will return eight starters for the 2015 season.