April 29, 2013

Chicks upset Deer Creek for title

Wade Whatley
Article Submitted

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Chickasha Middle School baseball team ended its season with a win in Saturday's Suburban Conference championship game over Deer Creek at Western Heights High School. 

The unbeaten Antlers had run-ruled all but one of their opponents this year and were primed to add a sixth-consecutive Suburban Conference baseball championship to their trophy case. 

The middle school Fightin’ Chicks, who finished the year at 12-5, were coming off back-to-back losses for the first time this season.  The consensus was a great game by the Chicks would be needed to hang around the powerful Antler team. 

Brock Henderson, eighth-grade co-op from Friend Schools, was given the ball and asked to pitch one more time for Chickasha Middle School.

Henderson had thrown three no-hitters, a one-hitter, and was the pitcher of record for five Chickasha wins during the season. 

After threatening in the first inning with runners on second and third, the Chicks opened the scoring with a six-run inning that started with eighth-grader Alex Inghram's lead-off single, and ended with two outs and Pioneer co-op Jake Womack standing on second base after driving in Friend co-op Ty Thompson. 

The rule, instituted by the host school, stated a maximum of six runs could be scored in one inning.  Thompson was on third after clearing the bases with a triple down the right field fence. 

Those six runs accounted for all the runs in the championship game as Henderson grabbed the momentum and the drama from the buildup to the championship game, pitching all five innings while giving up only one hit and two walks to the Antlers. 

Even with Henderson's performance, the Antlers put the baseball in play often, and each time the Chickasha defense was up to the task, recording 11 put outs and zero errors.  The defense was led by sixth-grade Pioneer co-op Logan Johnson at first, eighth-grader Devon Stephens at second and eighth grader Rylen Hill at short. 

Each of them made several  outstanding plays in the field to back Henderson, including Hill’s catch over his shoulder in short left to clinch the victory for the Chicks.  Sixth-grader Ethan Calhoun and seventh-grade Pioneer co-op Dalton Claphen also recorded outs on fly balls for the Chick defense. 

After the game, head coach Chad Beery praised his team.

“We really went into this game, knowing how difficult it was going to be to beat these guys," Beery said. "Our guys know them and they know us and they have a rivalry going.  I couldn’t be more proud of a bunch of kids.  We played perfect baseball.”

The Chickasha Middle School Chicks played consistent baseball for most of the year, beating themselves on occasion, but coming through in the end.

“It was a great season, which was capped by one of the biggest wins I have been part of.  Beating an undefeated, five consecutive years Conference champ six to zero, is something special.  These kids showed up every day at practice, had a great attitude and were a fun group to be around.  We hate to lose these 8th graders, but the future looks good for them and our team coming back next year.”