GROVE, OK —
The Pryor baseball squad did themselves quite a favor by taking third place in their district last weekend. Their 5-1 win over McAlester Saturday propelled the Tigers into a much more favorable regional assignment, and has Pryor poised for a return trip to the state championship tournament.
Pryor will head to Grove Thursday to take on Collinsville. The last time those two teams tangled, the Tigers pummeled the Cardinals, 12-0, in five innings at OneOK Field in Tulsa.
McAlester dropped into the fourth spot that Pryor would have occupied had the Tigers lost their season finale — meaning a trip to No. 1 Claremore to play Skiatook and, potentially, the Zebras in a regional tourney. Pryor took a 6-3 loss at the hands of Skiatook in late March, two days after a 9-0 drubbing by the rival Zebras.
Filling out the Grove regional bracket is Northwest Classen, which finished seventh in Pryor's district. The Tigers dispatched the Knights in a doubleheader April 15, giving Pryor head coach Gerald Osborne his 300th and 301st wins at the Tiger helm.
All regional tournaments will be double elimination brackets.
In Thursday's opener at Grove, Pryor will take on Collinsville in Game 1 at 11 a.m. In Game 2, Northwest Classen and Grove will duel at 1 p.m. The winners of Games 1 and 2 will play in Game 3 at 3 p.m., while the losers of Games 1 and 2 will play an elimination game (Game 4) at 5 p.m.
The second elimination game of the regional (Game 5) will be 4 p.m. Friday between Game 4's loser and Game 3's loser. Game 6 will pit the winners of Games 3 and 5 and is set for 6 p.m. Friday.
Another elimination game, if necessary, will be played at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Pryor (21-10) and Grove (21-10) figure to be the likely combatants in Game 6 (and Game 7, if necessary) for a berth in the state tournament.
Northwest Classen (7-25) has been largely noncompetitive in the regular season, while Collinsville's (11-17) young roster skidded in the playoffs on an eight-game losing streak before notching two wins to close the year.