SHAWNEE – Two down. One to go.
Ryan Haynie kept Oktaha in check to the tune of a five-hitter and the Dale Pirates beat Oktaha 6-0 in the semifinals of the 2A Baseball State Tournament Friday afternoon.
“Pitching has been the key for us lately,” Coach Eddie Jeffcoat said. “We pitched some great games in regionals and so far at the state tournament. It's hard to get beat when your pitchers aren't giving up runs. Ryan stepped up and threw great today.”
In the bottom of the first, Ike Shirey scored Dale's first run when Carson Hunt reached on an error by Oktaha's first baseman.
Two batters later, David Herring singled to right field, scoring Carson Hunt. Dale led 2-0 after the first inning.
Haynie let Dale's defense go to work, as he registered five fly-outs through two innings.
The Pirates added another run in the third. Bryce Crawford reached on an error by Oktaha's shortstop.
Dale struck for three runs in the third inning. The rally kicked off with a Jono Johnson double to center that scored Carson Hunt from second.
With two men, on Jaxon Wright singled to right, scoring courtesy runner Dallen Forsythe. Cooper Hunt followed up with a single to center that scored Tanner Collins.
In the 107- pitch effort, Haynie scattered five hits over seven innings and struck out three.
“It feels great to be able to go out in my last outing and help the team get one step closer to winning a state championship,” Haynie said. “As a team we are hitting it really well. That gives the pitchers confidence to do our job.”
Wright finished with a team-high two hits.
Cooper Hunt, Herring and Johnson registered one hit and one RBI apiece.
As a team Dale stole five bases. Crawford led the club with two swipes. Cooper Hunt, Carson Hunt and Shirey stole one each.
Herring, Shirey and Carson hunt turned one double-play.
In 37 state finals appearances, Dale owns 20 championships. This is the third straight year Dale is in the finals.
Dale will face the winner of Silo-Latta in the 2A Championship Saturday at noon.