EDMOND – Caleb Bass has been part of plenty of huge games in his career. Thursday’s state tournament debut with the Roff Tigers had to be one of the more memorable ones.

It definitely was for nerve-racked Tiger fans and teammates who can all breath a major sigh of relief.

After watching Oktaha cut the Roff lead to two runs and load the bases with just one out in the seventh, even head coach Ead Simon was asking for an extra mound conference to go out and calm his senior hurler. Turns out he didn’t need it, because Bass was the calmest person in the place.

The 6-5 righthander immediately coaxed a 5-4-3 ground ball that was beautifully turned from Colton Lancaster to Aaron Cornell to Logan Lomas preserving a heart-stopping 4-2 opening round victory at Deer Creek High School.

“I’ll guarantee he (Bass) was the least nervous person in the place,” Simon said afterward. “He’s like a fighter pilot out there — always calm. Everybody else might have been a little shaky but Caleb was never phased.

“It definitely wasn’t pretty but at this stage of the season it’s all about survival, and we survived to play again tomorrow. The kids made the plays when we had to have them.”

Third-ranked Roff appeared to be cruising with a 4-0 lead after five innings before Oktaha came alive to make things very interesting down the stretch.

Justin Smith doubled home Cale Elam to break the shutout and then scored from third on a controversial play one batter later. Roff’s Blake Logan appeared to throw out Elam at the plate on a shallow flyout from Austin Dillon but the home plate umpire ruled catcher Atlee Kile missed the tag, much to the dismay of Tiger head coach Ead Simon.

With his pressure experience showing, Bass regained his composure to get out of that jam. One inning later, however, a dropped fly ball and then back-to-back hit batsmen turned the pressure up to fever pitch before the senior hurler once again delivered.

“I never was worried,” Bass calmly said. “I was thinking more about how I hit two guys in a row than any pressure of the situation. It was definitely one of my better state tournament games.”

You can say that again.

In addition to his complete-game mound effort, in which he surrendered a lone earned run while scattering eight hits and striking out six, Bass was also the Roff catalyst at the plate with a major hand in three of the team’s four runs.

He notched two of the Tigers’ four hits, including his 12th home run of the season — a solo shot to lead off the third, drove in two and scored two more.

Roff broke out of the gates with a pair of runs in the first following one-out hits from Aaron Cornell and Bass, a sacrifice fly

by Lomas and RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Daniel Boss. Dayne Parker singled, stole second and eventually scored the Tigers’ fourth and final run on a Bass sac fly in the fifth.

Silo 7, Latta 0

It should have been an omen of things to come for youth-laden Latta when their first five hitters of the game all went down on swinging strikeouts against Silo senior Steven Gilbert.

Things never got any better.

Gilbert fired a complete-game no-hitter that included 14 strikeouts in the game’s 21 outs. The Panthers coaxed three walks but obviously could not do anything with any of them as no Latta player reached second base.

The Silo hurler struck out the side in the first, second and fifth innings while completely holding the Latta bats at bay.

Meanwhile, the Rebels offense pushed across three runs in the first, one in the second and three more in the third off a trio of Panther hurlers. Dalton Brown came on to work three scoreless frames to end the game but it was not nearly enough as Latta ends the season at 22-11.

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