DALE — The upcoming Class A state tournament will have a much different feel.
Perennial power Dale, ranked 11th, will not be among the eight-team field after being eliminated by sixth-ranked Oktaha 11-1 in regional tournament action Friday.
Oktaha, which also defeated Dale 6-5 Thursday, chalked up 12 hits Friday. Dale was limited to three hits, including a run-scoring double by Austin Custar in the top of the third inning.
Oktaha opened the scoring with seven runs in the second, then added three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth to invoke a five-inning run rule.
Starter Blake McQuain was relieved by Tanner Herring in the second inning.
Dale earned a second regional shot at Oktaha after launching Friday with a 13-2 triumph over Amber-Pocasset.
The Pirates collected 14 hits as Gant Hathcock and David Herring posted three singles apiece. Cooper Hunt and Drew Reed finished with a double and single apiece. Bryce Crawford also had a two-bagger.
Reed took the five-inning pitching win. He surrendered eight hits, fanned one and walked two.
It will mark the first time in two decades in which Dale didn’t advance to the state tournament.
The Pirates started three sophomores and one freshman Friday.
“We just got beat,” Dale coach Jerry Sanford said. “The future looks good. We will get a lot better in the off-season and make another run in the spring.”