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Fort Cobb-Broxton halts Roff’s quest for five-peat, wins Class B baseball title, earning ‘triple crown’

Rattan overpowers Sterling for Class A crown, the Rams' eighth in school history

By Glen Brockenbush

EDMOND - Regardless of who won the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) Class A and B spring baseball state championship games on Monday, history would be made.

And while rain changed the schedule and location of the tournaments, the atmosphere was as lively as could be at Edmond Santa Fe High School.

In the first game, Fort Cobb-Broxton fell behind, 3-1, to four-time defending champion Roff. But senior catcher Blayke Nunn had one of his best games ever for the Mustangs, leading Fort Cobb-Broxton to a 9-4 win against the Tigers for the Class B state championship.

With the championship, Fort Cobb-Broxton completed the small-school “triple crown," winning state titles in the three major boys sports for non-football schools (fall baseball, spring baseball and basketball) in the same school year.

Rattan entered the Class A championship game as the top-ranked team in the state and seeking its eighth spring baseball championship, but first since 2015. Meanwhile, Sterling had been to the state tournament 14 times before, but never won it all.

The Tigers scored first, but Rattan’s senior-laden lineup peppered Sterling’s pitching for an 11-3 victory. The win ensured Rattan has won a baseball championship in each of the past five decades (two in the 1980s, one in the 1990s, one in the 2000s, three in the 2010s and now one in the 2020s).

Class B Championship

Fort Cobb-Broxton 9, Roff 4

It was a rematch of the past two baseball state championship games, both spring and fall, with each school having won a title at the other’s expense.

The Mustangs scored the first run of the game when Jaxon Willits, who got on base with an infield hit, crossed home plate thanks to a passed ball.

Cade Baldridge opened things up for the Tigers in the bottom of the first with a double and eventually scored when FCB catcher Blayke Nunn threw down to second to get the other baserunner, Bill McCarter, stealing second, distracting the Mustangs and allowing Baldridge to score. McCarter later scored on a Fort Cobb error, giving the Tigers the lead.

Roff struck again in the second, as Beau Joplin doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Easton Riddle, making it 3-1. But that was all the Tigers would get, leaving the bases loaded.

In the top of the third, Nunn stepped up with two outs and two runners on. He smacked a pitch deep to center field for a double that scored both Jaxon and Eli Willits, tying the game at 3.

Despite the Mustangs’ early offensive struggles, Nunn and the rest of the team knew they could put up a crooked number at any moment.

“We’ve put up big numbers before, and knew we could put up three at some point,” Nunn said.

The score remained that way into the top of the fifth inning. With a runner on second and two outs, Nunn hit another one to the outfield, just deep enough for Eli Willits to score from second, giving the Mustangs a 4-3 lead.

Mustang pitcher Blaine Davis got the first two batters of the fifth out before Dylan Reed drove one to left field that hit off the fence for a double. But McCarter flied out to left to end the Tigers’ brief threat.

Tallen Bagwell came in to pitch for the Tigers in the sixth and eventually loaded the bases via hit batters and walks. Up stepped leadoff hitter Jaxon Willits.

The University of Oklahoma signee drove a double that scored one run, but Brody Smith slipped on the grass coming around third base to score. Caught in a rundown, he looked to be dead to rights before an errant throw home by the Tigers allowed him to score.

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Eli Willits was intentionally walked, bringing up Nunn. The first pitch he saw, he smacked it for what appeared to be a bases-clearing double. However, Eli Willits also slipped down the third-base line, taking out coach Dale Bellamy with him, and was thrown out for the last out of the inning.

Still, two runs had scored and Fort Cobb had seized full control of the game.

Nunn finished the game with three hits and five RBIs. His day began by grounding into a double play in the first inning. But the three-hole hitter responded to his coach and the moment, and delivered when it mattered most.

“He hit that grounder and I got him cornered a little, and kind of gave him the speech of, ‘You’re a senior, we need you here,' tried to motivate him a little bit," Bellamy said. “He stepped up and those last two at-bats were big. He had a big day, and he’s been like that for us all year.”

With a runner on third and two outs, Blaine Davis, who threw a complete game for the Mustangs but had been hitless up to that point, helped his own cause with a single that scored Kray Rogers and padded Fort Cobb’s lead.

Davis closed things out, igniting celebrations for the players, parents and fans in blue.

Fort Cobb (31-4) earned its third state championship in seven months, with many of the players on the state championship basketball team also on the baseball roster. But there was plenty of extra significance attached.

Fort Cobb-Broxton had come close to winning a triple crown before. In the 2004-05 school year, the Mustangs won the fall baseball and basketball championships, thanks in part to a player by the name of Dale Bellamy.

But the Mustangs couldn’t win the spring baseball title. While Bellamy didn’t speak publicly about it and insisted his team’s goals had nothing to do with his past, his players wanted this for him.

“I know our coach missed out on it when he was younger. And the only thing going through my head whenever we made it to state was, ‘We’ve got to accomplish it for him,’” senior first baseman Kaden Baker said. “And after we accomplished it, it just felt like there was nothing better we could have done.”

The only other school to complete the triple crown? Roff in 2009-10.

It is Fort Cobb’s third spring baseball championship to go along with two in the fall. The Tigers (27-7) still own the sixth-most spring baseball championships with 10.

Class A Championship

Rattan 11, Sterling 3

In search of its first-ever state baseball championship, Sterling got to work quickly, as leadoff hitter Nate Anderson hit one to the outfield and hustled for a triple. He scored on a passed ball to give the Tigers an early 1-0 lead.

Behind pitcher Jayden Huitt, the Tigers kept the Rams off the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. But that shutout pace wouldn’t last long.

Rattan’s Logan Smith led off the second by launching a pitch to right-center, over the fence for a solo home run to tie the game at 1. James Childers hit one to the outfield as well, ending up at second base.

Two batters later, Keegan Robertson joined in on the hard-hitting party, driving one deep to the outfield. It was caught by right fielder Tukker Hughes, who tried to throw out Childers tagging up to third, but the throw was off, and Childers raced home and scored to give the Rams a 2-1 lead.

Rattan continued its pace in the third inning. Cale Clay drove home Ben Ellis to make it 3-1. Soon after, Jace May followed suit, driving home Clay for another run.

Sterling wasn’t going to be kept down for long. The Tigers loaded the bases and back-to-back walks allowed Khaiden Gardener and Riley Lile to score, cutting the lead to 4-3.

Still, Rattan was ranked No. 1 for a reason and wasn’t bothered by the slight lull.

“We knew we’d score runs,” Clay said. “We just had to keep playing, keep that intensity up.”

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The Rams tacked on a run in the fourth inning on a passed ball. In the bottom of the fifth, Jace May was on third base with one out and Seth Springfield hit a single to shallow left to score May, making the score 6-3.

Sterling appeared to get a second out when Smith hit a dribbler to first, but when Gardener tossed the ball to the moving Huitt, the ball popped out of Huitt’s glove, allowing Smith to arrive at first safely and allowing Springfield to score, making the score 7-3.

While the offense got the Rams that lead, their starting pitcher was just as big a story.

Keegan Robertson had suffered an arm injury several weeks prior. When he took the mound in the state championship, it was his first time toeing the rubber in a game setting in three weeks.

“We knew he was going to be our arm in the finals, and he did a pretty good job, wasn’t as sharp as normal,” Rattan coach Michael Clay said. “But Logan (Smith) came in and did his job.”

Facing Smith, Sterling got two runners aboard with two outs in the top of the sixth, but a fly out to center field by Tyler Pierce ended the threat. The Rams weren’t satisfied with just their four-run lead, and after Cale Clay got aboard via walk, Jace May smoked one to shortstop that ricocheted off Pierce’s glove, putting runners on the corners.

A passed ball allowed Clay to score an insurance run and allowed Springfield to score. Logan Smith then drove home May and Springfield.

Childers earned himself another RBI, making the already excited Rattan crowd border on restless, waiting for their Rams to secure the final three outs.

When they did, they became the first Rattan squad in eight years to win the spring baseball title, despite having been a mainstay at the state tournament the past decade, having made eight of the previous 10 tournaments.

“We’ve been to the tournament, the only time we didn’t was because of COVID my freshman year,” senior Cale Clay said. “To get one, to get it done, it’s the best feeling ever.”

For a community that becomes accustomed to winning, eight years can feel like forever. Rattan was expected to be here and expected by most to win it.

But if there was pressure, it wasn’t reflected on Monday.

“It’s pretty cool,” Logan Smith said. “We knew they had won one in every decade since the '80s, so it’s cool to get one here in the '20s.”