PRYOR, OK —
Pryor will be facing a titanic obstacle at 4 p.m. Thursday in its quest for a state title — in this case, the Titans of Carl Albert.
The Titans (32-3) have won 19 straight games and haven't lost in over a month; but if there's anything the Tigers have proven this year, it's that they are resilient.
Pryor (24-11) has found itself in deep holes time and time again, and have battled back to win several of those games. The Tigers did it three times in last weekend's regional tournament at Grove, and they have done it with a young roster that has grown up quickly in the last few months.
"We're playing really well right now," PHS head coach Gerald Osborne said. "We've played well when we needed to, and we've been eliminating some errors we had earlier in the season."
The Tigers start three seniors and junior Nate Wolfe, and while junior Kelvin Grubbs (5-2, 3.16 ERA) sees quality time, a large portion of the production has fallen to freshmen and sophomores, and they have delivered.
Freshman Spencer Henson leads the team in RBIs (44) and home runs (6) while batting .356. He's also tied for the team lead in doubles (8). Sophomore centerfielder Brennon Barth bats .353 and has brought home 35 runs.
Freshman Anthony Martinez has been a phenom in the field, playing shortstop and catcher while compiling a 4-2 record on the hill. Fellow frosh Bradley Nixon has been an efficient contributor at the plate (.356, 10 RBIs) and on the mound (1-0, 11 appearances in relief).
As good as the underclassmen have been, the heart and soul of the Tiger squad lies with the seniors. Zack Hammock has rolled to a 10-2 year on the mound with a team-best 2.01 ERA. At the plate, Hammock is a solid .379 with 30 RBIs.
Lead-off batter Casey Holloway has been getting on base (team-best .398 batting average, .442 OBP) and running the base paths (39 stolen bases, one away from his own school record).
Foster McCollough has eight doubles and two homers on the year, and has just one error at first base — a team low — to go with a pristine .994 fielding percentage.
If Pryor is to upset the Titans, they'll need all nine pieces working together. Defense has been the name of the game for the Tigers, and they'll need their best effort of the year to win their biggest game of the year.