Rosepine claims first-ever state baseball championship
SULPHUR - It had eluded Rosepine head coach Jeff Smith and his Eagles for 22 years.
On Friday, May 14, 2021, they finally found what they were looking for.
Logan Calcote scored the lone run of the game on an RBI-single from Grant Ducote, while junior Ethan Frey fired a masterful four-hitter as the second-seeded Eagles upended the top-ranked Doyle Tigers in the Class 2A finals at McMurry Park in Sulphur.
"Just to do this, it's unreal," said title game Most Outstanding Player Ethan Frey, who struck out 12 and walked one in a brilliant performance. "It feels like I'm dreaming right now."
After fanning the final batter he faced, Frey flung his glove high into the air and immediately sprinted into the outfield attempting to outrun his teammates and a the championship dogpile.
And for the only time in this game, Frey could not escape the inevitable as he was caught in the outfield by a throng of teammates in quite the celebration.
But the celebration may not have happened had he and the Eagles hadn't pulled out a little magic in the second and third innings.
Doyle had runners at second and third in both frames and came away with nothing as Frey induced a groundout to end the second and closed the third with a strikeout.
And though Frey was lights out for the Eagles, Doyle starter Andrew Yuretich was just as effective. He handcuffed the Rosepine hitters for the first five innings, allowing only a single from Brady Phelps.
But along came the sixth inning.
Calcote opened the inning with a double, bringing sophomore Grant Ducote to the plate.
As he stepped to the plate, Smith contemplated having Ducote sacrifice. But after going 4-for-4 in the semifinals and hitting a hard line shot his last time up, Smith let Ducote swing away.
On the first pitch from Yuretich, Ducote smoked the ball into right centerfield. Determined to get the run, Smith sent Calcote home. And in his trademark style, Calcote slid safely into home head first for the lone run of the game.
"There was no doubt, I was going to send Logan," Smith said. "He's one of, if not, the fastest players on our team. At first, I thought about bunting, but I said to heck with that. I was rolling with Grant."
Doyle managed to get a runner aboard in each the sixth and seventh, but Frey closed the door both times, the final time with a 94 mile-per-hour fastball to lift the Eagles to the title.
"Both of the guys pitching today were great, so we knew there wouldn't be many chances to score and get hits," Smith said. "So we rolled with it when we had the chance."
Ducote, Calcote and Phelps each had one hit for Rosepine, who was stymied by Yuretich for the most part as he gave up one run on three hits with eight strikeouts.
Offensively, Braden Keen had a pair of hits for Doyle, one of which was a double, while Kody Mitchell and Landon Wolfe each had a hit.