This certainly wasn’t Tyler Pierce’s first rodeo, and it showed.

The Byng senior pitched his way out of jams throughout six strong innings and came up with a clutch hit to help his own cause during the seventh-ranked Pirates’ 6-3 win over No. 3 Piedmont Thursday afternoon in the first round of the Class 4A State Tournament at Edmond Memorial High School’s Byron Graham Field.

Byng improved to 27-7 on the year and will meet Plainview in a 4 p.m. semifinal game today back in Edmond. The Wildcats ended their season at 31-7. Plainview knocked off shocked No. 2 Catoosa 2-1 in 10 innings during a later first-round matchup.

Pierce scattered seven hits, walked three batters, hit two more and recorded four strikeouts. But the most important number was probably the eight Piedmont base runners he stranded.

“He’s a senior, and he’s been here before. This is his fifth state tournament during his high school career,” said Byng head coach Shawn Streater. “He knew what he was doing out there. He stayed with it, and tried to absorb the runs. With the emotion of the state tournament ... teams are going to play in spurts. I just told him to calm down and relax and let the game come to him and he did. I got the most I could out of him.”

Pierce also got one of the biggest Byng hits of the game.

With the score knotted at 3-all heading into the top of the fifth inning, Andre Davis — who also had a big day at the plate – started a Byng uprising with a one-out walk.  After Kiyaanii Bohan reached on an error, Pierce belted a run-scoring double to right field that drove in what turned out to be the winning run. Bohan later scored on a sacrifice fly by Gale Wall as Byng carried a 5-3 lead into the bottom of the fifth.

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