OKLAHOMA CITY — The top-ranked Roff Tigers have been leaning on their pitching staff for most of the season and nothing has changed so far during two games at the Class B State Tournament.
The Tigers followed a first-round shutout of Boswell (15-0) with a 6-0 win over local rival Tupelo Friday afternoon in a semifinal matchup at Dolese Park in Oklahoma City.
Roff will ride a perfect 32-0 record in today’s championship contest against No. 2 Red Oak at 3 p.m. inside the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.
The fifth-ranked THS Tigers finished their season at 21-6.
Sophomore pitcher Dylan Reed struck out four, walked three and scattered three hits in a complete-game outing.
“I feel like our pitchers just continue to improve. (Reed) had command of the strike zone and it gave them a hard time. He threw the ball well today,” Roff head coach Ead Simon told The Ada News following the game.
THS pitcher Cody Airington got off to a shaky start but settled in and pitched four solid innings. He started the Roff half of the first inning by walking the first to batters he faced before Trayson Miller bunted a perfect bunt past the pitcher’s mound for a single that loaded the bases.
Airington then hit Connor Owens at the end of an 11-pitch at-bat to force in the first Roff run.
Tanner Graves then hit a popup toward shallow right field that Tupelo second baseman Davin Weller lost in the sun. The ball fell on the grass just beyond the infield dirt that went down in books as an RBI single.
Tupelo head coach Clay Weller thought the infield fly rule should have been enforced resulting in an automatic out, but his plea fell on deaf umpire ears and Roff led 2-0.
Roff hitter Kagan Huneycutt then hit a bloop single that dropped between two Tupelo defenders in shallow left field that drove home another RHS run and made it 3-0.
“That was a pretty big call,” said Weller following the game. “They only get two runs or maybe just one if we get that. But give credit to Roff. Good teams like theirs take advantage of those types of plays. But you’ve got to score runs too.”
After that, Roff managed single runs in the second and third innings off Airington.
Coby Simon doubled with one out in the bottom of the second and scored o a clutch, two-out run-scoring hit by Conner Owens to put Roff on top 4-0.
Airington pitched five total innings for the THS Tigers with four strikeouts and four walks.
“They have a good ballclub. They have a couple of good arms themselves,” Simon said of the Tigers. “We scored six runs, but we didn’t barrel (Airington) up a whole lot. He’s tough to get to the top of the ball on. You noticed how many times we flew out. That’s not because we’re doing something wrong. That’s because he’s doing something right. He’s a tough matchup.”
In the third inning, Kagan Huneycutt singled and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Baldridge. Huneycutt and THS catcher Harley Davidson had a small collision at the plate when the ball arrived from Tupelo right fielder Taecyn Meek. Davidson couldn’t hang on to the ball, but Weller came out and argued that Huneycutt never touched home plate. He was against overruled and Roff led 5-0.
Roff scored its final run on a bases-loaded walk by Tanner Graves in the bottom of the sixth.
Huneycutt was the only Roff player with more than one hit, finishing 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Graves and Owens each had two RBIs.
The THS Tigers finished with just three hits. Davin Weller finished 2-for-3 and Harley Davidson hit a leadoff double in the fourth inning but was picked off for the second out of the frame.
Roff’s seniors will be battled for their fifth state tournament ring.