Latta’s Jake Collins went 2-for-4 at the plate for the Small East, contributing to its 9-5 victory against the Small West at the 2013 All-State baseball games Tuesday at Johnson Stadium at Oral Roberts University.
Collins, whose dad, Eddie Collins, is the coach at Latta, hit a two-out double in the second inning. But he ended up as a stranded base-runner.
In the fifth, Collins got to score the first run of a three-run double by Wyatt Dodd of Central Sallisaw. He set up his run with a single. The play stretched the Small East’s lead to 8-4 at that point.
“I just tried to play my game, even though it was a special event,” Collins said. “I just tried to do what I can.”
Jake's performance would make his dad proud.
“It was awesome (playing for his father),” Collins said. “There were times when it was a struggle. But in the end, it was all fun. Getting to be up on the baseball field with your dad every day is a dream cone true.”
Playing at All-State was a blessing for Collins, who plans on attending Eastern Junior College in Wilburton.
“I couldn’t have done it without the man upstairs (God),” he said. “It’s truly been a blessing. My brother was an All-Stater, so it’s fun to get to follow up in what he did in high school too.”
A bigger factor was that Collins is a Christian and pointed to his faith for his success.
“Baseball is a game of failure,” he said. “(Walking with Christ) keeps you level-headed and focused on the right things. You’re playing for (Him) instead of yourself and showing your ability through baseball to other people."
Collins was also one of five finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award for baseball. This year’s recipient was Austin O’Brien of Owasso.