May 16—The Mountaineers are conference champions.
Eastern Oklahoma State College baseball faced off against Seminole State College in the NJCAA Region II Division I baseball tournament on Saturday, with the Mountaineers taking the 8-4 title win to advance to the national tournament.
Head coach Matt Parker praised the hard work of his players, saying that they competed the same way they’ve been doing for nearly a year.
“It’s always fun to watch them succeed. They’ve been working at it since August,” he said. “It’s a blast to know that work pays off and you get to see them enjoy that and celebrate.”
The Trojans struck first, nabbing an early 2-0 lead in the opening frame. But Eastern was able to answer back with a sacrifice fly from Mac McCroskey that put the Mountaineers on the board.
Later in the fifth inning and trailing 3-2, the Eastern bats caught fire throughout the lineup.
A triple by Nick Wimmers scored the first run of the inning, and he scored himself off of a wild pitch in the next at bat. McCroskey then returned to the plate and drilled a dinger over the left field wall to score two more — putting the Mountaineers out ahead of the Trojans.
Eastern padded on runs thanks to a Cole Broughton homer that scored two, and a strikeout thrown by Carson Cheek sealed the win and forced the celebratory dog pile on the mound for the Mountaineers.
Broughton and Wimmers both led the way for Eastern, going 3-4 at the plate — with Broughton adding in three RBIs.
In addition to his hard-working players, Parker lauded the efforts of his coaching staff in Noe Ruiz and Justin Oney. He said the pair has been with him a long time, and they’ve contributed a lot to the successes they’ve seen together over the years.
“Those guys do incredible work. Our (players) get all the hits and the pitches, and they deserve all the credit from that side of it,” Parker said. “And our assistant coaches are tremendous. They’re second to none.”
The Mountaineers are now 46-5, and will advance to the Southwest district championship tournament, set for May 21-23 at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton. A win there would advance Eastern to the NJCAA World Series.
Contact Derek Hatridge at [email protected].