SHAWNEE – With a 5-0 win over Carl Albert to win the Class 5A-Region 2 Regional Thursday night, the Shawnee Wolves have found themselves three wins away from a State Champion repeat.
“I'm proud of the kids. It's been a long grind. Coming off the Championship, we got everybody's best effort every day and our kids stepped up to the challenge and competed every day and I couldn't be prouder of them,” coach Todd Boyer said. “They put in the work that's necessary every day to be successful and not only are they good baseball players, they're good kids and they take care of their responsibilities in the classroom as well. So I couldn't be prouder of this group than any other that we've had.”
The Wolves swept their Regional competition at home over two days to earn the return trip, including a 16-0 win over Carl Albert on Wednesday.
Tanner Sparks was a dominating presence Thursday, keeping his pitch count easily under 100 in his seven innings on the mound and striking out 10. He found himself in a bases loaded jam in the top of the fourth, but kept his composure to strike out Cline Corley looking to end the Titans' half.
“He was real efficient on the mound tonight with his pitch count and his strike count. His last four or five outings he's been as good as he's been all year,” Boyer said.
After going hitless in Wednesday's game against Carl Albert, Logan Franklin got back on track with an RBI single in the second to give Shawnee their first run of the game. Cole Payne hit into an E6 to score Teddy Robertson the next at bat.
The Wolves took advantage of several Titan mistakes, scoring on the error and two wild pitches.
“We scratched a couple of runs across and had some opportunities to score some others but we knew it'd be a dog fight today... We knew they'd come out full of energy and excitement and ready to redeem themselves and I thought our kids competed really well today,” Boyer said.
Franklin was the only multi-hit batter for Shawnee, going 2-for-3 with the RBI single. Sparks was 1-1 with two walks, netting the only extra-base hit for the Wolves.
Shawnee will play in the 5A State Tournament beginning next Thursday at Yukon High School. Times and seedings will be announced at a later date.
“We're gonna enjoy this one tonight and tomorrow we'll start talking about next week once we find out our match-ups and what time we play,” Boyer said.