OKLAHOMA CITY – It was only fitting that Jerry Sanford would coach his final game at Dale against rival Silo Saturday in the state tournament. Sanford's Pirates beat the Rebels in epic fashion for an 8-7 state title win in 2014 in one of the most memorable games in tournament history.
Unfortunately, Sanford and his seniors were unable to strike lightning twice as Dale lasted as long as they could and finished runner-up in Saturday's title game. The Pirates fell behind early in the 10-7 loss but erupted in the fourth quarter for a five run rally to take their first lead of the game.
“You win some, you lose some and today it didn't come out our way,” Sanford said. “We still hit it well, I was proud of the kids, they played really good. But sometimes it's that way.”
Bryce Crawford cranked out a leadoff double to start the inning and was brought home on a single to left by Blake McQuain. Scout Capps took a walk to juice the bases and Drew Reed hit a grand slam to take a 5-4 lead with no outs.
Silo bounced back with four runs in the bottom of the fourth capped on a two run homer by Kash Walls to retake an 8-5 lead.
“We didn't give up, we got down four runs and we didn't give up and got that five spot and got the lead. We just couldn't shut them out,” Sanford said.
McQuain drove in his second run of the game with a single in the fifth and David Herring singled down the middle to score Carson Hunt but the Pirates were unable to take the lead back.
Reed was 3-4 and drove in four runs to lead the Pirates at the plate. Herring, Crawford, Gant Hathcock and McQuain brought home two runs apiece.
The majority of Silo's runs came from Walls and Carson Atwood, who had three RBI apiece. Dale outhit Silo 12-9.
Atwood earned the win on the mound after coming in to start the fifth, struck out three, walked two and gave up one run on five hits. Dillon Turner got the start for Silo and allowed three runs on five hits. Ty Herndon relieved Turner in the fourth and allowed three runs on two hits.
“They swung it well, they're a good program,” Sanford said. “They've got tradition just like we do, today they were better than we were.”
Cooper Hunt started for Dale and gave up four runs, two earned, on four hits. Reed took over in the bottom of the fourth and struck out two and walked two. He allowed six runs on five hits.
It was the last performance for seniors Hathcock, McQuain, Capps, Reed, Jacob Stone and Tanner Hurst as well as longtime coach Sanford. He was happy with how hard his guys worked throughout the season and in the game.
“These kids worked their tails off for me,” Sanford said. “I appreciate all they did. It was good to play in the last one, just wish it would have turned out different.
The Pirates finished the season 24-10 as the No. 3 team in Class 2A. Silo was the No. 1 team and finished with a 29-4 record.