SULPHUR – Pitkin has been one of the best teams in Class B throughout the year, and with their win on Monday, the Tigers sealed their spot at the top.
No. 1 Pitkin's season ended in a victorious dog pile on the mound after defeating No. 3 Converse 7-0 in the LHSAA State Baseball Tournament Class B Championship at McMurry Park.
"It feels amazing," Pitkin head coach J.C. Holt said. "To be honest with you, if it wasn't for these kids and the good Lord, I don't know where we would be. We fought all year and made a pact at the beginning of the year that it was state championship or bust. It's hard to do. We played well all year long. We had some ups and downs, but they fought through it."
The win marks the first championship at Pitkin since 1999.
"The community, for a long time, has went through several coaches, and they've only been in the semifinals three times in the last 20 years," Holt said. "This is the first finals game in 20. They've been waiting on it. The community is really jacked up. I imagine there will be a bunch of people up late tonight in Pitkin."
Senior pitcher Grason Dauzat was named the Most Outstanding Player of the championship game, throwing seven scoreless innings and striking out eight, despite dealing with an ankle injury.
"It was tough," he said. "Like coach said, I could find my release point early in the game, but after getting out that first inning – nerves were kind of bad – I settled down and got through it. I had good defense behind me.
"I wanted to finish it out even before the game even started, but I feel with all the adrenaline I had running through my body, I couldn't feel my ankle."
Pitkin got on the board in the third inning after Garrett Edwards drove in Scotty West from second.
West went 1-for-2 and scored two runs for the Tigers.
"I have confidence in my team, but I like to start it off," West said. "I know they have my back."
Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Adrian Nolen hit a pop up in between multiple Converse defenders, and a miscommunication led to a dropped ball which plated three runs.
In the bottom of the fourth, another Converse error led to two more Pitkin runs to make it 6-0.
With two outs in the fifth, Ethan West drove in Dauzat to make it 7-0. All of Pitkin's runs came with a pair of outs.
"I've been confident that we can score runs up and down the lineup," Holt said. "I'm never nervous where we are in the lineup, because we have a chance to score runs and we can score them in batches. They had a couple of mishaps, and we were able to take advantage of it."