EDMOND — The Silo Rebels took a step closer toward a state baseball championship on Thursday by downing their cross-county rival Colbert by a score of 6-3.
The elimination of the Leopards sets up a 4 p.m. Friday semifinal between Silo and Dale at Edmond Memorial baseball field. This is a rematch of the spring final, which Dale won 11-0.
Rebel Coach Billy Jack Bowen is hoping for a different result today.
“We feel like we’re better now and looking forward to it,” he said. “We like our chances.”
He said the Rebels played “just as bad as they possibly could” on Thursday but still came out on top. A pair of errors had the Rebels playing “awfully tight” but he praised the efforts of pitchers Justin Hendricks and Kendall Shives.
“Justin battled all the way through, and Kendall came in and shut the door,” Bowen said. Hendricks went five and two-thirds innings, allowing six hits and three walks with three strikeouts. Shives allowed only one hit over the final two innings to pick up the save.
Colbert Coach Lance Britt was disappointed in the early exit, but pleased overall with the season – as well as the support of the parents and the school. He thanked both for “backing us all year long.”
“I’m proud of these kids,” Britt said. “They came up here and played their guts out. We’ll be better for this experience, and we’ll use it to build on in the spring.”
Here’s how the state quarterfinal game played out:
FIRST INNING: Colbert took a 1-0 lead when Dylan Jones singled and was brought home by a Silo error on a ball put into play by Bradley Nichols. Nichols got into trouble as the Rebels loaded the bases with one out, until Kyle Tate hit into a one-two-three double play to end the threat.
SECOND INNING: Silo returned the favor and turned a double play on the Leopards, who had the bases loaded with just one out. James Hair had the only hit on a bunt single. Nichols retired the Rebels in order on a ground out, strikeout and a fly ball.
THIRD INNING: Lance House made two big catches in center to keep the Leopards from taking advantage of a base-on-balls and a wild pitch. Tanner Hearon got the Rebels started with an infield single, coming home on a Colbert error. Hendricks singled and got home on Andrew Bolin’s RBI triple. Leonard Sandler drew a walk, Tate grounded out for an RBI to score Bolin, and a Casey Love RBI single scored Sandler as Silo took a 4-1 lead.
FOURTH INNING (Colbert): Preston Rice drew a walk and stole second before Trevor Cole singled to put two Leopards on base. Peyton Whitehead moved them into position with a sac bunt, then Hendricks struck out Hair for the second out. Caleb Shoemake rocked a two-run double to score Rice and Cole, cutting Silo’s lead to 4-3. Jones grounded out, but it was (briefly) a new ballgame.
FOURTH INNING (Silo): Lefty Kason Krob took the mound for Colbert and appeared to have things in control after a lead-off walk. He struck out Lance House and got a fielder’s choice for two outs with Tanner Hearon in scoring position for Silo. Bolin doubled to score Hearon and Sandler had an RBI single to bring Bolin home for the 6-3 Rebel lead.
FIFTH INNING: A Bradley Nichols base hit was wasted as Hendricks got the middle Leopard order out around him. Krob retired the Rebels on two ground outs and a strikeout.
SIXTH INNING: Hendricks struck out Cole before hitting Whitehead and getting Hair to fly out. Colbert’s Shoemake was at bat when Shives was brought in to close the game. Shoemake flied out; once again, one Leopard was stranded. The Colbert defense took their curtain call as Krob struck out the first two Rebels before Bolin’s third hit of the afternoon. He was picked off at first to end the inning.
SEVENTH INNING: Down by three runs, Colbert needed base runners. Jones grounded out and Cade Carter singled, with courtesy runner Keller Cummins entering the game for Carter. Nichols lined out and Dakota Graham grounded out to end the ballgame.
SILO REBELS (29-7)
Lance House 0-3, reached on error.
Dustin Hendricks 1-4, single, stolen base.
Andrew Bolin 3-4, two runs, two RBIs.
Leonard Sandler 1-3, two walks, two steals, run scored, RBI.
Kyle Tate 0-3, walk, RBI.
K.C. Wall 0-1.
Casey Love 1-3, single, RBI.
Chris Taylor 0-2.
Tanner Hearon 1-3, single, walk, run scored.
Jarris Hamilton 0-1, walk.
Lucas Long 0-1.
COLBERT LEOPARDS (24-7)
Caleb Shoemake 2-4, two RBIs.
Dylan Jones 1-4, single, run scored.
Cade Carter 1-4, single.
Bradley Nichols 1-4, walk, RBI.
Dakota Graham 0-3.
Preston Rice 0-3, two walks, stolen base, run scored.
Trevor Cole 1-3, single, run scored.
Peyton Whitehead 0-3.
James Hair 1-3, single.