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Cashion is Class 2A state runner-up

May 15, 2024 - 00:00
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Wildcats knock off #2 Dale in semis; #1 Oktaha proves too much in title tilt

  • Cashion is Class 2A state runner-up
  • Cashion is Class 2A state runner-up
    CASHION LEADOFF batter Kellen Smith (above) reacts after opening the Class 2A state championship game with a hit. Smith was the fi rst of three consecutive hits by the Wildcats to open the game. He scored a run in the inning as part of an early 2-0 lead. Pictured left is Cooper Frazee delivering a pitch during the state title game. Frazee got perhaps the biggest out of the tournament when he forced a strikeout with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning Friday to preserve a 2-1 victory over Dale in the semifi nals. [Photos by Rylee Broadbent]

Oktaha’s run to the state championship started with a Kingfisher County team…and it ended with one.

The top-ranked Tigers maintained their red-hot bats Saturday as they downed No. 3 Cashion 15-5 in a six-inning run rule in the Class 2A state championship game at Shawnee High School’s Ed Skelton Field.

It was Oktaha’s first spring state championship while it was Cashion’s first trip to a baseball title game.

The Tigers scored double digits in every single playoff game, which began with a 22-3 victory in their regional opener against Hennessey on May 1.

Oktaha, which finished 32-3, scored 12 and 16 in games against Morrison during that regional.

They won 10-0 and 10-3 against Central Sallisaw and Preston, respectively, in the state tournament before Saturday’s showdown with Cashion.

The Wildcats were riding a 10-game win streak entering the championship.

That included Friday’s thrilling 2-1 victory over No. 2 Dale in the semifinals.

Cooper Frazee coaxed a strikeout with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh inning to save the victory.

It capped a wild half-inning that saw Chance Acord record the first two outs of the frame.

The right-hander had shut down the Pirates for more than six innings, but gave up a single to the last batter he faced before having to be removed due to the pitch count.

That was just the third hit Acord surrendered while he struck out eight batters.

Coach Blake Mounce turned to Hunter Gibson, but the big right-hander was unable to record an out.

Gibson walked a batter, then gave up an RBI single. The throw home allowed Dale runners to advance to second and third.

As Frazee came to the mound, Mounce opted to load the bases with an intentional walk to set up force outs all around the diamond.

Frazee didn’t need one. After falling behind 1-0 and 2-1, the senior rallied for the strikeout.

Acord helped his own efforts in the first inning.

Frazee was hit by a pitch and eventually advanced to third before Acord’s single brought him home.

The 1-0 lead remained until the fifth inning when Kellen Smith delivered a one-out double.

He got to third on Frazee’s fly-out to right field, then scored on a wild pitch as Acord drew a walk.

Cashion also got off to a good start against Oktaha and starter Maddox Edwards.

Smith, Frazee and Acord started off the game with consecutive singles. Acord’s hit scored the other two for an early two-run lead.

Oktaha got the runs back - plus one - in the bottom of the inning and took a 4-2 lead into the third.

That’s when Cashion had its second offensive surge.

Frazee led off with a double before Acord walked.

Gibson brought home Frazee with his single and then Derek Sheline tied the game with an RBI sacrifice fly.

Kyle Yowell put Cashion up with his single that scored Gibson.

But that was it for Cashion.

Edwards finished the inning, but Darren Ledford didn’t give up a hit over the next three frames.

Oktaha’s bats were just heating up and its took complete control of the game with a seven-run fourth frame that included six hits.

The Tigers added three more runs in the fifth and then ended the game with an RBI sacrifice fly in the sixth.

Third-ranked Cashion finished its season with a 32-6 record.

The loss snapped a 10game win streak dating back to April 18 against Dale.

Cashion was making its eighth state tournament appearance, but its first in a championship game.

The Wildcats had reached the semifinals the two previous season.

Cashion’s wins at this state tournament over Latta and Dale came against programs with 79 combined state tournament appearances and 18 state championships in the spring.

Oktaha was making its 15th appearance at the spring state tournament and sixth appearance in the championship game.