The Kingfisher Blue Sox spent most of their season shelling a former Oklahoma State pitcher.
It almost got them a state championship.
Atoka defeated the Blue Sox 10-0 Saturday in the decisive game of a best-of-three series to claim the OK Kids coach pitch state championship at Clinton.
The loss ended a dramatic run for the Kingfisher group in the 8-under division in which it won a regional championship and came one win shy of bringing home a state title.
Kingfisher won the Blue bracket in the tournament, which began Tuesday.
The Blue Sox picked up wins of 18-0 over Ada, 7-4 over Morris and 6-5 over Sallisaw to land in the bracket finals.
The squad trailed Sallisaw 5-3 in the final inning and was staring a trip to the loser’s bracket firmly in the face.
That’s when Barron Bollenbach delivered.
With two outs and two runners on base, Bollenbach was down to his fifth and final pitch and came through with a two-run extra-base hit to tie the game.
He then won it by scoring on a throwing error by Sallisaw’s right fielder, sending Kingfisher to the bracket finals in the driver’s seat.
Shawnee survived the consolation bracket and needed two wins over Kingfisher to advance.
It got one of them as Shawnee beat the Blue Sox 7-5 Friday to set up the “if” game.
However, Kingfisher emerged 4-2 to advance to the championship series.
Atoka also was forced into an “if” game in the Red bracket and the two teams kept the dramatics going on Saturday.
Atoka won the first game 5-3.
Kingfisher then staved off elimination by returning the favor in a 7-5 victory to force the third and final game.
The team’s “coach-pitcher” all season was Matt Peck, the former Cimarron High School standout who went on to a stellar two-year career at Cowley County before pitching in 2008 and 2009 for OSU.
Peck was also selected in the 2006 MLB Draft.
He later married the former Krista Bullis from Dover, whose nephew plays for the Blue Sox.
Peck willingly watched his ERA soar as the Blue Sox tallied a 38-11 record on the season.
Team members joining Bollenbach include Graham Myers, Braylon Swayne, Lane Kirtley, Steel Snodgrass, Jayzen Surveyor, Collin Farrar, Brason Pinkston, Braydon Livingston, Drew Snider and Mack Francis.
Joining Peck in coaching the team this season were Chase Farrar, Jared Swayne, Brent Snider, Nate Kirtley and Heath Myers.