The Pirates are at it again.

For the 68th season, Dale (22-9) qualified for the state tournament.

The road to the tournament wasn't easy.

Dale played several tough teams throughout the 2019 campaign, with nine wins over teams that qualified for the state tournament.

Dale is 9-2 against 2A competition and six of Dale's losses came against ranked opponents.

Wins over 2A state tournament qualifiers include a 7-6 victory over first-round opponent Christian Heritage, a 10-2 win over No. 5 Latta, a 10-1 drubbing of No. 18 Hartshorne and an 11-9 upset of No. 2 Oktaha on Dale's Senior Day.

The Pirates qualified for the tournament with three-consecutive shutouts in regional play. Dale outscored its opponents 22-0 and beat No. 13 Rejoice Christian in consecutive games to seal the deal.

Best of Preps Small School Player of the Year, Carson Hunt, leads the club in home runs (6) and runs batted in (33). Carson was on the shelf early in the season with a hamstring injury, but returned to the every-day lineup and found success at the plate. His patience at the plate is one of the best on the team as he's walked 20 times, compared to nine strikeouts.

Ike Shirey leads the club in batting average (.422) and runs scored (35). Shirey is tied for the team lead with 10 doubles and 13 stolen bases. Shirey is the starting second baseman and turned nine double plays while maintaining a .935 fielding percentage.

Bryce Crawford maintains a .368 average and leads the team with 28 singles. The senior right fielder serves as the starting right fielder, scoring 26 runs and registering 20 RBIs. He threw 16 1/3 innings and recorded one save.

Jared Rogers tied for the team lead with 10 doubles. He belted three home runs and contributed 31 RBIs. Rogers collected three wins on the bump and brings a team-best 1.98 earned run average to the 2019 version of the Pirates.

Shortstop David Herring has a cannon of an arm, helping him turn a team-leading 12 double plays. At the plate Herring walked a team-best 27 times.

Tanner Collins holds down the hot corner with a .917 fielding percentage and maintains a .301 batting average. The junior was hit by five pitches in 2019.

Jono Johnson serves at the stating catcher. Johnson has 18 RBIs on the season and threw out 4 of 22 baserunners. Johnson tossed 19 1/3 innings and leads the team in strike percentage (.631).

Connor Kuykendall, Cade McQuain and Cole Capps received at-least 10 at-bats throughout the season.

The pitching staff is led by Ryan Haynie. Haynie leads the club with a 5-2 record and 41 2/3 innings pitched. In 11 appearances, his ERA sits at 2.18.

Jaxon Wright is a perfect 5-0 on the hill. Wright pitched 17 2/3 innings and hit two home runs in 27 plate appearances.

Cooper Hunt has the best pickoff on the staff. Cooper built a 3-2 record and caught four runners napping this season. At the plate, Cooper hit one homer and drove in 14 runs this season.

Dale's career record in postseason play is 98-47. The Pirates have 20 baseball crowns with the last championship season coming in 2014 under former skipper Jerry Sanford.

The Pirates play Christian Heritage Thursday at 11 a.m. The 2019 Class 2A Baseball State Championship will be held at Shawnee High School.