SULHUR – For the second time this season, the Simpson Broncos are the best of Class C.
Simpson defeated No. 1 Summerfield 15-5 for the LHSAA State Baseball Championship in Monday afternoon at McMurry Park.
"I was fortunate last year to take this job," Simpson head coach Austin Cox said. "These guys opened up with open arms and took me in. They bought into the program, and we go out and work hard everyday."
This is the second trophy the Broncos have taken home this season after claiming the state basketball title earlier this year.
"It's been since '07 since they had won a state title in baseball," Cox said. "The last two years, everyone knows how that turned out. This year, basketball kind of set the tone. A lot of these kids played both sports, therefore, it motivates. From day one, I said 'guys, our goal isn't to go to Sulphur. Our goal is to leave with something with gold on it.'"
Simpson lost the last two state championship games, making this win even more sweet.
"The last two years were heartbreaking," Simpson catcher Dustin Williams said. "We got out here and did work. We knew coming in that we were going to win. Not being cocky, it was just on my mind that we were going to win."
Centerfielder Rhett Petre was named MVP of the title game, going 2-for-3 with five RBIs, including a grand slam and a solo home run.
Petre bats in the bottom of the order, but position in the lineup made no difference in Monday's match up.
"When you get that production from your nine hole, you are usually having a pretty good day," Cox said. "One through nine, I felt like we battled and worked hard. At that point, you want to relax, but then again, you know you can't. We've seen heartbreak from having a big lead two years ago."
Simpson took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third as Zach Allbritton was driven in by Williams, and Colton Parker scored on a passed ball.
Parker was 2-for-3 from the plate and also got it done on the mound, throwing five innings, striking out six and giving up just five hits.
"Colton is a great pitcher and an even better catcher," Williams said. "I won't be surprised when he goes DI, honestly."
Williams scored on an RBI single by Ethan Nash to go up 3-0, and Simpson added another run in the top of the second.
The Broncos opened it up in the third inning, scoring eight runs, including Petre's grand slam.
Petre hit a solo home run over the left field fence in the fourth to make it 13-4, and the Broncos added two runs in the fifth to go up 11.
"I thought it was really, really fun," Petre said. "I hit the first one and knew it was game. They built up behind me, and it was really special."
Summerfield scored one run in the bottom of the fifth, but it was not enough as the 10-run rule was enacted, giving Simpson its fourth state championship.
The Broncos lose just two seniors – Williams and Landon Hall – and will have a large core of their players returning.
"It feels awesome," Williams said. "It feels good to go out on top in sports in your senior season. I have to give it to Summerfield. They are a great program and have good kids, but you have to give it to Simpson more. We've got a better group coming up, and we're going to go back-to-back next year.
"This group of guys are going to be unforgettable. We've been friends growing up and started kindergarten together. I'm going to miss them so much."