After a month of action, Chickasha baseball is in a good mood ahead of wood-bat playoffs that begin in Yukon on Thursday.
Summer rosters are usually full of young players experiencing the rigors of varsity ball for the first time, but that is especially true for Chickasha this year. Just two players, Mario Medina and Levi Kell, will be seniors when the spring 2015 season begins.
It leaves the junior and sophomore classes full, said assistant coach Blake Taylor who took charge of the team for Chickasha's wood bat tournament that began last Thursday.
"The big part of summer is not necessarily your record," Taylor said. "You want to win as many as you can, but for the guys, you've got to get used to the speed of the game and the way high school varsity ball is played."
Chickasha finished fourth in the rain-affected wood bat tournament, a 9-5 loss to Marlow on Sunday cementing their position. In the midst of that was what Taylor called their best game of the tournament and one of their best of the summer, an 8-0 win over Class 4A champions Tuttle. Soon to be junior Brandon Shumway was on the mound for that run-rule win.
"We played probably the best game of the summer," Taylor said. "That's the best [Brandon's] played in my three years of coaching here. It was good outing."
A 5-4 loss to Moore may have eliminated the Fightin' Chicks from contending for the championship, but it presented an example of young players stepping up. Down 3-2 in the top of the seventh, Bradley Parham, an incoming sophomore, drove in the tying run before to-be-junior Brooks Bush brought him around to take the lead.
The late fall and a tough outing on Sunday were signs of the toll summer ball had taken on the players, Taylor said.