The Chickasha High School baseball team was loose and having fun Monday during a five-inning win over an overmatched Southeast team on Senior Day.
The Fightin’ Chicks won 13-0 in their seventh consecutive victory, and have jumped back into the top ten of the class 5A rankings at No. 9 with a 15-7 overall record.
Head coach Brad Gore said the team’s mentality has changed, and has contributed to the recent turnaround in the season.
“I think once we decided we really wanted to play, and we weren’t scared anymore, and believed we could play, everyone loosened up and we started playing some good baseball,” Gore said.
After the team’s six seniors were recognized along with their family members, the Chicks wasted no time in taking care of Southeast as quickly as possible.
Chickasha scored five runs in the first inning, three in the second and five more in the third inning, before going scoreless in the bottom of the fourth.
Derek Stephens went 1-for-1 with three RBIs. Brant Haile went 2-for-2 with three RBIs. John Mitchell went 1-for-1 with one walk and one HBP for two RBIs.
Nine Chickasha batters reached base either by being hit by a pitch or by way of a walk. Eight of those runners ended up scoring.
Blake Burns started the game, and pitched three innings. Of the nine outs he recorded, seven of them were strikeouts. He gave up one hit, to the lead-off batter Micah Hunter, and two other Southeast players reached on Chickasha errors.
Lane Smith pitched the fourth inning, striking out all three batters he faced. Landon Thomas even got in on the mound, to the excitement of his teammates, who cheered him on as he struck out the first two batters he faced.
Gore said this year’s team is doing what past teams have done: pulling together and playing well following the Chickasha Tournament.
“I’m really happy with where we’re going,” Gore said. “The guys have been playing well the last couple of weeks. That’s kind of been our M.O., after our tournament we hit our stride and play well. These guys are just following suit.”
Chickasha’s seniors include manager Brook Cooper, outfielder/pitcher John Mitchell, third baseman/pitcher Derek Stephens, outfielder Kris Lennier, catcher Landon Thomas, and shortstop/pitcher Zach Ervin.
Lennier started the game in the outfield, going 0-for-2 at the plate and reaching once after being hit-by -pitch.
“They’re just all really good kids,” Gore said. “They’re good students. They represent our baseball program well, and I’m really proud of them.”
The Chicks played Southeast again on Tuesday (results will be in Thursday’s Express-Star) and begin play in the McAlester 5A Shootout tournament on Thursday against Collinsville at 12:30 p.m.